My Trek Through Enterprise

Discussion in 'Star Trek: Enterprise' started by Spock/Uhura Fan, Aug 24, 2012.

  1. Fruitcake

    Fruitcake Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    Re: My Trek Through Enterprise: Season One

    I've fainted.

    Everything you say is WHY this is one of the series greatest episodes. Because it's full of issues and challenges us on the very Trek assumptions of non-interference. We've had the prime directive and respect for other ways of doing things shoved up our noses since forever and it's good, very very good to see what this can actually mean for individuals and cultures. In this case both suffered from interference and yet we can't bring ourselves to not sympathize with the interference.

    I like seeing how incredibly complicated inter species contact really is, not just silly things like the Tak Tak but the real horrors and dilemmas of completely different cultures and physiologies and people. Too often in Trek the Feds save the day through pious speeches, or they walk away and pat themselves on the back for doing so, either way everyone wins. This time no one won. No one. And that was just a whole lot more interesting.
     
  2. Spock/Uhura Fan

    Spock/Uhura Fan Captain Captain

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    Re: My Trek Through Enterprise: Season One

    And that's where the "plus" comes from. My problem with this episode wasn't the fact that it dealt with a difficult dilemma, or that non-interference was challenged (at least by Trip). My problem was that out of ALL of the senior staff, Trip was the ONLY one to see a problem with this species. Even Archer and Co. immediately considered, and even tried, helping that colony of people that held the developing group back, all the way up to actually creating a cure. And there, the developing group was treated A LOT BETTER than these Cogenitors. I strongly feel that instead of leaping off to go joyriding as soon as he meets these people, as the Captain of the Starship, Archer should have taken a little more care to get to know them a bit. If that meant he didn't get to have some fun with their leader in the end, then so be it.

    Their mission is to explore and get to know about the new civilizations they meet, and that has to come before fun. I don't even know if he stuck around long enough to know that a Cogenitor was there (did he or anyone besides Trip even care?). The other thing was the captain's ironic berating of Trip, and the fact that it seemed to me that the only reason why he was so willing to look the other way was because of their technology. Now, what does that say about our dear captain? Not much at all. The hypocrisy.
     
  3. R. Star

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    Re: My Trek Through Enterprise: Season One

    Well you could argue it sets excellent precedent for future lacks of morality concerning prime directive issues.
     
  4. Spock/Uhura Fan

    Spock/Uhura Fan Captain Captain

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    Re: My Trek Through Enterprise: Season One

    ^ Well, please tell me those lacks of morality and decency don't get much worse than this one. My problem was that the "directive" Archer vaguely described, and that he's apparently now following in this particular episode, wasn't really dealt with. Normally, captain soapbox has a lot to say, but here he's so hush-hush. You can't help but to wonder why is that? And the answer is so disturbingly bad.

    I really do not give an F grade lightly, and this episode , and our Enterprise crew, failed badly on 3 major fronts to me:

    1 - Actually dealing with the issue.


    To delve into this, I'll have to back up a little because I think in my hastily written previous post I didn't explain what I meant well enough. What I meant by what I said is that Archer and Co. were willing to consider, and even try, helping a group of people that weren’t necessarily the best people, while in the case of the Cogenitors, they were pretty much blameless and no argument on their behalf was ever made. Obviously, Archer wasn’t going to be able to change their circumstances, but he could have tried to open a delicate dialogue about how Earth learned over many centuries that to hold one group of people back, just because of how they are born, isn’t the best way to do things in the end. Picard would have opened up a dialogue, Sisko, and Kirk, but Archer was too interested in joyriding. Usually Archer loves making his holier-than- thou speeches and brushes off T’Pol’s suggestions to let other cultures just do what they do, but it seems as though his soap box disappeared as soon as he saw what was in it for them to keep their mouths shut. It’s the equivalent of him treating the technology and the fun as “hush money.“

    Now, of course, had Archer actually opened this dialogue, their leader would have come back with their conclusion that things were working just fine, but then Archer could have asked about why someone’s sex makes them more or less an object, and did they know these “Cogenitors” could have thoughts and feelings and the desire to make their own choices? And if they did know this, then is every Cogenitor coming to this same conclusion as well in order to provide consent? That’s when he could have delicately used “Charles” as a possible example if they were willing to see what she would choose if she were given the choice. Any resistance to that would have just proven that they knew that they were oppressors of an innocent group of people, and depending on what happened afterwards, the 2 groups of people might have had to go their separate ways, but at least the integrity of the senior staff of the Enterprise and their captain would have still been intact by episode’s end. Here, what actually happened was that Trip brought up this injustice and no one else really seemed to care; him bringing it up was even treated kind of like it was an annoyance. So, that’s number one.

    2. Hypocrisy

    I'm going to guess that one of the main reasons why the prime directive was invented was because you can't afford to get involved in everyone's problems, as well as the "live and let live" aspect of it. And I know Archer's not the most consistent person to begin with, but his hypocrisy, as well as Phlox's was very interesting to me. T'Pol was consistent because she usually says to stay out of things, but I think even here she should have expressed some horror at how a group of people are basically imprisioned from birth, just because of how they are born, then kept in a room 24 hours a day, with only one meal (of someone else's choosing), and only "taken out" to be used for sexual/reproductive purposes with people they don't know, don't like, and are not interested in. Whew.

    Moving into the hypocrisy, well, I've already mentioned Archer's missing soapbox, but there's Dr. Phlox too. In both episodes you could say that the Enterprise crew just let nature take its course, but that's not true for a few reasons. First, what was happening in the case of the Cogenitors was not natural, unlike the epidemic with the other species. And two, even with that species, they didn't entirely let nature take its course. They did leave them with some help and data, I believe, so they were willing to interfere some there. And lastly, and this is where the real hypocrisy comes in, is that they did choose to play God based off of preferences, because really, after they made the cure, they were playing God either way.

    Archer was going to give the dominant group the cure until Phlox, after spending time with the subordinate group and seeing their developing abilities, potential, and kind nature, came to like the subordinate group and prefer them over the group that was trending out. Then it was let nature take its course. He made a choice based off of the time he spent getting to know and like them. Had he not made his recommendation, the dominant group would have gotten their cure. Trip did the same thing. He spent time with "Charles" and came to find out that she was just as capable as the other sexes, and he came to like her, so he advocated for her. So, why wasn't his advocating taken with the same weight by Archer that Phlox's was. These Cogenitors had far less freedom than the subordinate race that Phlox wanted to have the "room to grow." Why didn't Phlox care about the way these people were treated, I can't even say against their will because they're not allowed to have "a will." I see spending time with the good doctor has its benefits.

    Back to "why," well it keeps coming back to what was in it for them. And by them, I mean the Enterprise crew. That seemed to be Archer's primary concern. So, of course, now whenever Archer harps on about an injustice and how somebody oughtta stand up and say or do something, waiving a finger in someone's face, I will be reminded of this episode, and how he was all to willing to keep quiet when the price was right. He berated Trip, using the fact that "Charles" didn't specifically ask him to learn how to read as something against Trip (:rolleyes:), but the subordinate race didn't ask Phlox not to help the dominant race. I didn't see Archer giving any lectures there... Oh, I think I'll move on to number 3.

    3. Lack of Caring

    I understand that in this situation they probably weren't going to make any major changes, but they could have cared. The only person that did this was Trip, and that's sad. I could go into detail, but I'm tired of typing. I think I've made my point. This was such a failure in the character of the senior staff, Archer in particular as captain, that I just had to give it an F grade with a plus for the bit that did work.
     
  5. Skywalker

    Skywalker Admiral Admiral

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    Re: My Trek Through Enterprise: Season One

    I feel the same way about "Cogenitor" for the same reasons, S/U Fan. On paper it should have been one of ENT's all-time greats, but Archer's behavior and his hypocritical reaction towards Trip bring it way down in my estimation.
     
  6. R. Star

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    Re: My Trek Through Enterprise: Season One

    Voyager and Enterprise both did this on a number of occasions, though the TOS/TNG/DS9 crews weren't completely free of it either. They set up an EXCELLENT moral dilemma but the way they resolve it makes the main characters either look like first class jerks, just plain stupid, or some combination thereof.

    These are usually the episodes that are still stirring up debates years later. Sure the heroes aren't always going to be perfect, but there's a huge difference between making a morally questionable choice because you have to and regretting it and just not giving a damn or reveling in them.

    In the case of this episode, I get the fact that it's not Archer's call to make. He's establishing first contact here. But literally condoning the exploitation of a significant number of people in another species? At the very least he should have told Trip it's not their place personally to make a call there, but he's going to recommend Earth put diplomatic pressure on them because slavers are not the kind of people they want to be associating with. The way Archer did it, he probably would've been alright if he made contact with Nazi Germany who was in the process of gassing all their Jews.

    All I can tell you S/U Fan is look out... some Archer's biggest bad calls are still yet to come.
     
  7. Spock/Uhura Fan

    Spock/Uhura Fan Captain Captain

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    Re: My Trek Through Enterprise: Season One

    Even on paper, the script's dialogue has Archer being hypocritical and the senior staff uncaring, save for Trip. Perhaps the initial idea of the episode had the potential to be great, but this episode, as it was written, needed to have been re-written, imo.

    I haven't seen all of any series but DS9, so that's the only one I can for sure speak to. What you just said is the reason why what some might call even DS9's absolute worst episodes are far better than this one. The crew and captain, and even non-crew on the space station, seemed to always understand the severity of the situations they were dealing with. They would grapple with tough issues, and even if you didn't like what they ended up deciding, you could at least say that they were trying and did everything in their power to be decent and fair.

    One episode that's being debated over in the DS9 forum is Sons of Mogh and Worf's decision to give his brother a new identity. He decides this, in anguish and with guilt, after his brother requests that he perform a death ritual for him to put him out of his misery. Worf reluctantly tries to grant his brother's request, but he's stopped because of Starfleet regulations. His brother still begs him to do something. Worf doesn't know what to do, but works out this alternative. He's not happy about it and no one really wins. Worf's brother gets his wish of not having to live with the dishonor anymore, but he also loses who he is in the process. Worf is able to help his brother, in a way, but at the cost of losing him and having to live with what he's done. Not for one second, do you get the impression that no one understands the gravity of the situation.

    Dealing with sex and sexism, Quark comes from a very sexist culture, and he's very much about being a good and average Ferengi (on the surface, but some of it is real). An episode like Profit and Lace might give tell to his sexism. But, he gives 10 bars of latinum as start-up money to a very capable Ferengi woman that has a crush on him so she can have the life of enterprise that she wants in the Gamma Quadrant. If he was really as sexist as he seemed, he wouldn't have done that. And as much as he squawked at his mother making achievements, he didn't do much to get in her way. It just lets you know there's more to him than meets the eye. I have a feeling that if he ever had a daughter, she'd be taking over the bar someday... I'm just saying that at least we saw room for growth with him.

    I know for sure that Kira wouldn't have been as passive about what was happening as T'Pol, who interestingly enough had been mind-raped and knew what it was like to be "used" for someone else's benefit. She didn't seem to like it that much, if I recall correctly, and that's a bit similar to Kira knowing what it's like to live in captivity just because of how she was born. The difference is that I know Kira wouldn't have forgotten her experiences and would have had some compassion (and I'm sure rage knowing Kira) on the Cogenitor's behalf. T'Pol didn't even seem to want to fully acknowledge the Cogenitor's situation.

    Sisko used trickery and deception to get the Romulans involved in a war they wanted to have nothing to do with because it would benefit the entire Alpha Quadrant in In The Pale Moonlight. It wasn't something he felt good about or did lightly, but he had to do it to save everyone from the Dominion... I guess I'm just saying that this episode was a real failure for the senior characters of the Enterprise in a very major way. It almost makes me not like the senior staff of the Enterprise (except Trip), and I'm pretty sure that wasn't its goal.

    Yes, and probably an even closer situation would be the "nice southern plantation owner" that believed his slaves were 3/5 human and don't deserve any rights, which of course is a load of @#$% because that was decided as a part of a political compromise and not any kind of real scientific data. These people were just as bad.

    It would have been nice if they'd all met up at the end of the episode to discuss what happened and how they would proceed in the future when dealing with species that were like the species they'd just dealt with.


    I don't look forward to that, but I'll be watching.
     
  8. Spock/Uhura Fan

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    Re: My Trek Through Enterprise: Season One

    I guess it's time to move on.


    Regeneration
    [​IMG]

    Well, someone wants to die. The end of one of the Borg's arms is a drill, and the head scientist guy doesn't think they look hostile? Or that it's at least a possibility? I'm reminded to never say stupidity never hurt anyone. I'm not sure how well this episode plays into the Borg in TNG, though.

    Here's something I've noticed, why does T'Pol always have to give Archer a little pat on the back every time he makes a tough decision? She's always saying something like "You did a good job. You could not have done anything else," or "That was very difficult, but you made the right choice." Can't he just make a decision without her nursing him over it every time? I guess she knows how emotionally unstable he is, and this is her way of keeping him "even."

    Grade: B minus
     
  9. R. Star

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    Re: My Trek Through Enterprise: Season One

    They were supposed to be the Borg from the Sphere that apparently crashed on Earth in First Contact... though as I recall the movie the Sphere was pretty well blown up, but anyways...

    Yeah... they just HAD to say "Oooh let's do a BORG episode!" Really this is what made the first two seasons of Enterprise so facepalming at times. "We'll have Ferengi, that'll be cool!" "This week we'll do Klingons!" "Ooh now a Romulan episode!" etc. They're so busy trying to touch off on the other series stories, they're not telling one of their own.
     
  10. Skywalker

    Skywalker Admiral Admiral

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    Re: My Trek Through Enterprise: Season One

    This was one of the franchise's better Borg episodes, certainly better than most of VOY's efforts. I agree that sometimes ENT got a little too caught up in trying to tie itself to the TNG-era shows, but in this instance I didn't mind it. Brian Tyler's score for this episode was excellent, too. I wish he'd done more than just this and "Canamar."
     
  11. Spock/Uhura Fan

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    Re: My Trek Through Enterprise: Season One

    First Flight
    [​IMG]

    T'Pol is a fairly good first officer. She knew that an emotionally compromised Archer absolutely needed someone to accompany him, and it didn't take much for her to get him spilling his guts as a form of therapy. "No, I don't wanna talk. I'm fine. You just sit back there and meditate. Okay, his name was A.G. Robinson. He was a Starfleet captain, and I wouldn't be here without him..." Her suggestion to name the nebula after Robinson was also very thoughtful.

    Grade: C plus
    ---------------

    Bounty
    [​IMG]

    So, the Vulcans already said that the Tellarites were, in their opinion, a disagreeable species, but Archer throws that to the wind so he can have a vacation guide. What? He ends up being taken hostage instead? Now, how could he have avoided that?? I'm almost at the last episode of this season, and I know that Archer really does have his merits, but I truly hope the captain improves next season. I will say that the bounty plotline was better than watching Phlox slab decon gel over his toenails:

    [​IMG]

    And T'Pol... Oh, my. ;)

    Grade: C
     
  12. R. Star

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    Re: My Trek Through Enterprise: Season One

    First Flight for some reason to me is an episode I really liked a lot. Then again I was a huge enthusiast of the space race and this episode seemed to capture the whole feeling of that. Not to mention those prototype ships actually looked like they were inspired by the design of the Phoenix. T'Pol naming the nebula after Archer's buddy was a nice though too. A sign she might be getting over Evil Vulcan Syndrome.

    Bounty..? I'm sorry but Archer just almost deserved that to happen to him. I've suggested in the past that T'Pol really would be better off advocating the opposite of what she really means at times. "Well the Vulcans hate them, so they must be alright." As far as him improving next season? Season 3 Archer's competence and morality is very.... questionable at best. I will say by season 4 he had improved however.
     
  13. Spock/Uhura Fan

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    Re: My Trek Through Enterprise: Season One

    Yes, the nice thing about First Flight was that the story was one that tended to "ring true." You can really believe that's how they made progress, and it was nice to see that Trip played a part in it. And on Archer's improvement, well, thanks for mentioning season 4. :)
     
  14. Spock/Uhura Fan

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    Re: My Trek Through Enterprise: Season One

    The Expanse
    [​IMG]

    This episode looks like it might be building up to something interesting with the Xindi.

    Grade: C

    Season 2 seemed to start out kind of okay, get better, then got a little weak, and it's ended with a decent lead into season 3.
     
  15. Dream

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    Re: My Trek Through Enterprise: Season One

    You really love giving out Cs to ENT episodes!;)
     
  16. Skywalker

    Skywalker Admiral Admiral

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    Re: My Trek Through Enterprise: Season One

    C's an average grade, much of ENT (especially the first two seasons) is just about average. Makes sense to me.
     
  17. R. Star

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    Re: My Trek Through Enterprise: Season One

    For the most part she's more generous than I'd be. Though I'd have given First Flight a B. Then again this is her thread, so she can grade it whatever she wants. :)

    And get ready for a long, drawn out season of Enterprise vs the Xindi. :p
     
  18. Spock/Uhura Fan

    Spock/Uhura Fan Captain Captain

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    Re: My Trek Through Enterprise: Season One

    ^ Thank you both. :)

    Is that good or bad? :confused:

    I just judge them based off of each individual episode, but there is a rationale behind my ratings. It probably won't mean much to anyone outside of myself, but here's what a C means: It means that an episode is rewatchable. A plus/minus added means that it's rewatchable, so you could sit through it again, but there might be a reason or two why you would/wouldn't want to watch it, while a solid C is fairly neutral.

    If you love some of these episodes that are getting Cs, well then just know that we are all individuals and individual grades will vary. My ratings are basically for myself as I trek through Enterprise. :)
     
  19. Spock/Uhura Fan

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    Re: My Trek Through Enterprise: Season One

    Now, on to Season 3. :)

    The Xindi
    [​IMG]

    Well they made the theme song a little less cheesy. The pace and camera work looks to have picked up a bit too, and T'Pol has a new look. I do wonder where she got the outfit from. Spare clothes in her closet? And well I guess this is the beginning of Trip and T'Pol. How cute. :) Meanwhile, the search for the Xindi is still on.

    Grade: C plus
     
  20. Fruitcake

    Fruitcake Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    Re: My Trek Through Enterprise: Season One

    In Season 3 she ties his shoes for him.