The ENT and Melakon

Discussion in 'Star Trek: Enterprise' started by Melakon, Feb 6, 2013.

  1. Melakon

    Melakon Admiral Admiral

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    1:13 - Dear Doctor

    TV Blurb: Cutler makes a suggestion, T'Pol gets on her back, and Phlox faces a decision.

    Archer orders Phlox to find a cure for a disease killing an alien race, but the situation becomes more complex than anyone realizes. Wriiten by Maria Jacquemetton & Andre Jacquemetton. Directed by James A. Contner.

    Although I try to avoid major spoilers when writing these essays, it may be unavoidable here. I know the episode ranks at the top of people's Shitlist. There are no fantastic special effects or action scenes, but it's an interesting study of the creature named Phlox.

    We see Phlox at the beginning of his morning routine upon entering Sickbay, feeding the specimens. Phlox dictates a letter in voice-over throughout the episode, similar to TNG's "Data's Day".

    When Cutler starts getting friendly, Phlox seeks advice on how to proceed from others. There's a very nice scene with Phlox and Hoshi discussing his problem during a Denobulan language lesson.

    Eventually the Alien Of The Week shows up, his race is dying of a disease, and Archer tells Phlox to find a cure. What he eventually finds puts him in conflict with Archer. John Billingsley was apparently disappointed with the final episode's resolution, preferring one that had been in an earlier draft of the script.

    We learn a lot of things about Phlox in this episode. He's impressed with humans' desire to help others. He's not always comfortable being around Vulcans. Phlox's personality in some ways reminds me of the stock sci-fi character of an eccentric professor. Depending on his moral compass, the eccentric professor could easily become a mad scientist.

    Archer has a separate decision to make, similar to whether you should give your car keys to a guy you just met, who's never even been in a car before, and wants to drive downtown in your Porsche.

    When the secret of the alien society was revealed, I saw comparisons to TOS' "The Cloud Minders". It also reminded me of reasoning used during America's 19th century antebellum era. The episode's final fade-out bookends the teaser's opening.

    Next: "Sleeping Dogs"
     
  2. teacake

    teacake Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    I have a pet hate for this episode because two people I know gave up ENT in absolute disgust because of the decision made in it.
     
  3. Melakon

    Melakon Admiral Admiral

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    So is the problem people have with the episode Phlox's decision, or Archer's solution?
     
  4. feek61

    feek61 Captain Captain

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    I just don't think this episode is that bad, lol, maybe I'm not going to get along here afterall! It's been a while since I've seen it; perhaps another viewing is in order.
     
  5. R. Star

    R. Star Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Yeah... Phlox basically proves he's morally bankrupt by condoning genocide in this episode and Archer seems more bothered that he got involved with their problem than the moral implications they're facing.
     
  6. Melakon

    Melakon Admiral Admiral

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    Whether Phlox is morally bankrupt is based on humanity's perception of ethics. His position may be popular opinion in his own culture. But this allows us as humans to look down on Denobulan culture as morally inferior to our own.
     
  7. Melakon

    Melakon Admiral Admiral

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    1:14 Sleeping Dogs

    TV Blurb: Another derelict ship, T'Pol hocus pocuses Hoshi, and Malcolm takes his shirt off.

    Hoshi gains more confidence in herself as she volunteers for a shuttle mission to an endangered alien ship. Written by Fred Dekker. Directed by Les Landau.

    I did 4 watches of this in the last 36 hours, yet took no written notes since nothing jumped out at me. Comparing the Hoshi story with Archer's story with the aliens, common elements seem to involve responsibility and trust.

    We get some good though hazy looks at the alien scout ship including schematic sketches.

    Dominic Keating fans may enjoy his long shirtless scene.

    Next: "Shadows of P'Jem"
     
  8. feek61

    feek61 Captain Captain

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    WHAT!!!

    I guess I REALLY need to re-watch it if that's the case. I thought the plot was that the lower species was evolving and replacing the more advanced yet heading towards extinction species. I thought Phlox DID come up with a "cure" but they decided in the end; not to interfere with the natural evolution of the planet. Am I wrong?
     
  9. Melakon

    Melakon Admiral Admiral

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    No, that pretty much accurately describes what I repeatedly watched two days ago. Archer stalls, giving them a vaccine to slow the progress of the disease, but encouraging them to find their own cure. I don't think he says "we found a cure but you can't have it, nyah", but he does refuse them when asked for warp drive.
     
  10. Melakon

    Melakon Admiral Admiral

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    1:15 - Shadows of P'Jem

    TV Blurb: After being captured, TPol improvises, Archer gets a bust in the face, and Trip & Malcolm's rescue gets a little blue.

    After the Andorians destroy a previously discovered observation post, the Vulcans blame Starfleet and order T'Pol home. Teleplay by Mike Sussman & Phyllis Strong; Story by Rick Berman and Brannon Braga. Directed by Mike Vejar.

    Some nice action/stunts, but I get tired of all the fighting at night or in low lighting situations, though it's easier for stunt substitutions.

    Jeffrey Combs returns, and Trekvet Gregory Itzen makes his first Enterprise appearance, as a Vulcan ordered to retrieve T'Pol. Steven Dennis also returns.

    Connor Trinneer gets some good moments when Trip, in command, has several unpleasant communications hails.

    Next: "Shuttlepod One"
     
  11. Melakon

    Melakon Admiral Admiral

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    1:16 - Shuttlepod One

    TV Blurb: In a damaged shuttle, Tucker and Reed find evidence suggesting Enterprise was destroyed. Written by Rick Berman & Brannon Braga. Directed by David Livingston.

    One of the things Star Trek does well is putting two characters in a room and watching them go after each other. Here, Dominic Keating and Connor Trinneer must get 90% of the episode's running time to themselves. It's excellent work from the two stars, and gives a lot of insight into why Malcolm is so reserved.

    Music is used effectively as Malcolm loses himself in his romanticism of tradition while preparing for the end. Trip focuses on staying positive, especially after finding a surprise in the rations bin.

    I watched this four times before writing, it's wonderful work from Keating and Trinneer.

    The season/series collection has a featurette on the making of the episode.

    Next: "Fusion"
     
  12. Melakon

    Melakon Admiral Admiral

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    1:17 - Fusion

    TV Blurb: Vulcans with their own methods of balancing emotion with logic visit Enterprise, and one tries to get T'Pol to open her mind. Teleplay by Phyllis Strong & Mike Sussman; Story by Rick Berman & Brannon Braga. Directed by Rob Hedden.

    The series continues to remind us not all Vulcans are from Spock's mold, with three different personalities. Captain Tavin (Robert Pine), seems easy going, willing to try new experiences, and comes off as likeable. Engineer Kov (John Harrington Bland) is a friendly, technically focused type who gets along well with Trip.

    The third Vulcan, Tolaris (Enrique Murciano), is the random element. I'm not sure what his job was on the Vulcan ship, but he seemed inordinately pleased with himself throughout. And I didn't like him from first setting eyes on him. I have to give actor Murciano credit, because I even found the many angles of Tolaris simply taking a bite of food irritating. He introduces T'Pol to the mind meld, which plays like a rape scene and is treated as such by Archer.

    I liked the fight scene in Archer's ready room, and wish we'd seen more evidence of Vulcans' superior strength. T'Pol going gangbusters on someone would have been great.

    I'm puzzled as to why John Harrington Bland wasn't given billing with the other guest actors, as his character figures more prominently in the plot than Pine's.

    The blooper reel appears to have an outtake of the episode's final scene, when Scott Bakula intentionally makes an entrance Jolene Blalock isn't expecting.

    Next: "Rogue Planet"
     
  13. BillJ

    BillJ Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    Fusion was one of my favorites from season one. :techman:
     
  14. gblews

    gblews Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Yeah, I liked Fusion too. It showed off one of the things Jolene did bring to the role that others playing Vulcan's had not; vulnerability.
     
  15. Melakon

    Melakon Admiral Admiral

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    1:18 Rogue Planet

    A landing party investigates a drifting planet regularly visited by alien outdoor sports enthusiasts who hunt native wildlife. Teleplay by Chris Black; Story by Rick Berman & Brannon Braga & Chris Black. Directed by Allen Kroeker.

    Another ghost story that failed to impress me after first viewing in original broadcast. I'm able to appreciate it better now, but still dissatisfied with some aspects.

    This is basically a sci-fi jazzed up retelling of old folklore or fairy tales. What would traditionally be supernatural explanations are given 22nd century Treknobabble. My biggest problem is it's a ghost story with mysterious wraiths that can appear as anything, like changelings.

    Though on the most recent viewing before writing, it did give me pause. It's possible the first human contact with an alien creature might be very much like this-- a mystery to be revealed, because it doesn't resemble what we consider "life".

    Trekvets Conor O'Farrell and Eric Pierpoint guest star.

    Next: "Acquisition"
     
  16. Melakon

    Melakon Admiral Admiral

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    1:19 - Acquisition

    TV Blurb: Unidentified short, orange-skinned, large-headed aliens with really big ears incapacitate Enterprise's crew and plunder the ship. Teleplay by Maria Jacquemetton & Andre Jacquemetton; Story by Rick Berman & Brannon Braga. Directed by James Whitmore, Jr.

    :barf: was my reaction when seeing this in first broadcast. All my hopes that Enterprise would be a success pretty much vanished at this point.

    It's like old home week with Trekvets Jeffrey Combs and Ethan Phillips returning, as well as SuperTrekvet Clint Howard, who entered Trek lore as the tiny Balok in "The Corbomite Maneuver" at about age 7.

    There are so many problems with this episode which have been endlessly enumerated, there's no point in going through them again. I blame Rick Berman, because he of all people should have known the guest aliens were out of place.

    Since the whole thing is just a mindless comedy, it's best just to watch the performances and try to recognize the guest stars.

    Connor Trinneer spends the first 20 minutes in blue underwear.

    Nexr: "Oasis"
     
  17. BillJ

    BillJ Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    I don't think Acquisition is terrible but it's just another episode that depends on Archer being a complete noob in order for the story to fit into the greater tapestry.
     
  18. Melakon

    Melakon Admiral Admiral

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    The amazing thing is these aliens are previously mentioned in dialogue, other species encountered had dealings with them, Enterprise security cameras must have recorded images, yet they stay completely unidentified for another 200 years. Someone in Starfleet Intelligence was sleeping at the switch.
     
  19. Melakon

    Melakon Admiral Admiral

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    1:20 - Oasis

    TV Blurb: Now you see them, now you don't. Odo shows his true face.

    Searching for supplies, Enterprise investigates reports of a derelict ship and its ghostly crew. Teleplay by Stephen Beck; Story by Rick Berman & Brannon Braga & Stephen Beck. Directed by Jim Charleston.

    Shakespeare's The Tempest via Forbidden Planet via DS9: Shadowplay. Guest starring Rene Auberjonois. 'Nuff said.

    Oh, and it's another freaking ghost story. Enterprise seems to want to be the Hammer Films Star Trek. It's wonderful that Rene showed his support for the franchise, but why couldn't it have been a story that wasn't a rehash of an episode he was already prominent in? Poor judgement on Berman & Braga's part.

    I can't think of a single original idea in this story. Auberjonois does what he can, but the script wastes this talented actor.

    Next: "Detained"
     
  20. BillJ

    BillJ Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    Got to say, I don't really remember anything about Oasis. Sounds like I'm lucky.