Treking through all Star Trek

Discussion in 'General Trek Discussion' started by thew40, Sep 21, 2009.

  1. thew40

    thew40 Commander Red Shirt

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    Series: Enterprise - Season Three
    Episode: “Doctor’s Orders”
    Trek Installment # 66
    Grade: B
    Viewing Date: November 13, 2009

    Another focus on Phlox and thank goodness for it. I have a great affection for Phlox and I find him to be one of the most interesting characters on the show. I have enjoyed this episode quite a bit, though having T’Pol hanging around was a distraction.

    Why was it that Phlox was getting a lesson about the warp core when T’Pol, the science officer with some experience, would be the more logical choice? T’Pol’s emotions are making her forgetful? Oh holy crap, she wasn’t real. Nice twist.

    The development of Phlox was nicely done and appreciated by this Denobulan fan. I enjoyed the first ten-fifteen minutes more than anything. Running around the ship with Porthos; strutting around naked; watching movies . . . it reminds of the first few nights my parents would leave me alone for a while. It was like “wooo free reign! I can go to the bathroom with the door open!”

    Okay, well, maybe it wasn’t quite like that . . .

    But I digress. Phlox is one of the best alien individuals I’ve seen in that he offers something new to Star Trek that hasn’t been dealt with before. His species need for companionship and the inclination to hallucinate are nicely foreign. Dealing with Phlox brings out some great Trek.
     
  2. thew40

    thew40 Commander Red Shirt

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    Series: Enterprise - Season Three
    Episode: “Hatchery”
    Trek Installment # 67
    Grade: D
    Viewing Date: November 13, 2009

    I loved that shot of the Shuttlepod landing next to the ship. Very cool.

    I liked Archer’s argument about the Xindi babies. And then he starts acting crazy. And T’Pol starts getting a little crazy. Trip won’t go to Hayes, who obviously thinks the Captain has gone crazy as well.

    I hate the whole Starfleet versus MACOs crap. I imagine Hayes is up on the bridge just thinking “what the fuck is taking these guys so long?” And then they go all mutiny on him. Travis grew balls for taking down Hayes. He might be angry at Hayes for stealing his character development.

    T’Pol looked good in a Starfleet uniform, though.
     
  3. thew40

    thew40 Commander Red Shirt

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    Two because of the New Year!


    Series: Enterprise - Season Three
    Episode: “Azati Prime”
    Trek Installment # 68
    Grade: B +
    Viewing Date: November 13, 2009

    Epic episode. The Enterprise has its ass handed to it. Plus, it’s a major turning point in the Xindi arc overall.

    Why are they getting all weepy eyed over blowing up a small monitoring station and three Xindi. They’ve blown plenty of other ships before hand. Actually, just the last episode.

    That’s a fine scene when they find the weapon. The look on Trip and Travis’ faces is great.

    I loved T’Pol’s “I don’t want you to die.” It was a sign that she’s on drugs, sure, but it was just so honest and urgent. It clicked well with me. Actually, the more we see her emotions slip, the better. She pulls this off rather well – from the aforementioned outburst to crying in the ready room to her exchange with Trip.

    I liked Mayweather’s questioning of the captain. It worked out nicely. Also, Archer’s good bye speech was a good and it’s nice to see him moving away from the gazelles.

    -------------



    Series: Enterprise - Season Three
    Episode: “Damage”
    Trek Installment # 69
    Grade: B+
    Viewing Date: November 13, 2009

    As pivotal as “Azati Prime” was to the Xindi arc, this is really where the characters react. “Damaged” takes on the many aspects of the floundering starship and her crew. We have the Enterprise itself, breached, broken and battered. We have Archer, having had the crap beaten out of him, bruised and bloodied and without mercy. Then there’s T’Pol, whose probably the most damaged of all.

    T’Pol’s addiction comes after one episode of implication and one episode of bonking Trip. It’s a little shocking to see her so into Trillium-D that she risks her own life and then melts it down and injects herself with it. I mean . . . where did that come from? Balock pulls this off well and I liked seeing her angry.

    In terms of Archer’s loss of mercy and ethics, it’s a concept delivered well. Not only does it call back to “Anomaly,” but the Illyrian that they encounter is like a reminder of what Archer was before hand. An explorer, not looking to stir up trouble. It demonstrates just how damaged this crew has become. The bleak and stark use of light and dark works well with Archer as he ponders his decision.

    I liked the rare Hoshi/Travis moment, fleeting as it was.

    I have some criticisms for the Xindi arc, but internal continuity is most certainly not one of them. Way to follow-up well.
     
  4. thew40

    thew40 Commander Red Shirt

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    Series: Enterprise - Season Three
    Episode: “The Forgotten”
    Trek Installment # 70
    Grade: B+
    Viewing Date: November 13, 2009

    Trek rarely pulls it together like this. On the one hand, we have the negotiations with Degra and, uh, Monkey-Man Xindi. These go well as Archer shows them his comic book collection his evidence against the Reptilians and the Sphere-Builders. This buys Archer time, though I couldn’t help but feel bad about Degra being stuck in the dark about Archer kidnapping him and screwing with his brain and the guy not knowing about it.

    The secondary focus on Trip’s dealing with his sister’s death as well as Taylor’s is the emotional tie in the episode. His rage at Degra and his eventual emotional collapse with T’Pol is well played. His scene with T’Pol in particular is so well done. I loved it. Especially this exchange:

    “I envy you Vulcans.”

    “You think that the loss of a colleague or friend doesn’t affect us? It does. But if we give in to our emotions, they overwhelm us. You’re the ones to be envied.”

    Wow. I know it’s slight, but that right there is the turning point for me with the humans and the Vulcans. It’s a confession or an admittance that the Vulcans are not any better than humans. That, and it’s a great scene for Trip and T’Pol.
     
  5. thew40

    thew40 Commander Red Shirt

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    Series: Enterprise - Season Three
    Episode: “E2”
    Trek Installment # 71
    Grade: C
    Viewing Date: November 14, 2009

    I think there were some strong ideas here, but they weren’t executed very well. Had this second Enterprise been the reason why the Xindi hated humans, it would have made more sense. On top of that, the idea that this Enterprise’s crew is okay with ceasing to exist is a little troubling.

    There’s some great battle scenes; I liked the two Enterprises squaring off. That was cool. But the overall story wasn’t that great. It’s pretty much an Enterprise version of “Children of Time,” which wasn’t a great episode either (if memory serves; I may change my mind when I get to DS9).

    What I really didn’t like was the huge reversal it gave to T’Pol and Trip. An actual relationship was developing; and now it’s all like “destiny.” Ugh. Silly.
     
  6. thew40

    thew40 Commander Red Shirt

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    Series: Enterprise - Season Three
    Episode: “The Council”
    Trek Installment # 72
    Grade: B+
    Viewing Date: November 14, 2009

    A very exciting episode. Lots of awesome yelling, arguments, and an epic space battle. Great job.

    Wow, I wish I had more to say. I think, actually, that’s part of the problem with this particular episode. It’s almost like we’re just slammed with excitement and by the time I was done, I was like, “crap, I have to watch the next episode! Screw my review!”

    But I digress . . .

    The space battle, like I said, was great. It’s been a while since DS9 and I was itching for a big space battle – and I got one. Awesome.

    I also liked the death of Degra at the hands of Dolim. Dolim’s bad guy-ness was solidified then and there. Degra himself turned out to be such as well-developed character that I actually cared about him when he was killed.

    The redshirts death was also dealt with rather well – and the way the writers handled Reed’s reaction was excellent.

    Major criticisms? It’s hard to judge this episode on its own, as it ties in so deeply with its two successors. I would have liked to have seen the evidence that humanity was going to destroy the Xindi – that would have been more compelling. I think it would also have been interesting to see Dolim side with the others and then change his mind – for real.
     
  7. thew40

    thew40 Commander Red Shirt

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    Series: Enterprise - Season Three
    Episode: “Countdown”
    Trek Installment # 73
    Grade: B+
    Viewing Date: November 14, 2009

    I liked this episode, even though it mainly serves as bridge between “The Council” and “Zero Hour.” Lots of nice character moments. Shall I name them for you?

    - Trip and T’Pol’s scene in the command center had a nice “clear the air” sorta feel to it
    - Dolim’s questioning of the Sphere-Builders was great, but he backed down far too easily; likewise, I enjoyed the Insectoid questioning Dolim
    - The Big Three having dinner was appreciated, as it had been since about season two since we’d seen that
    - This was a good episode for Hoshi too, though I feel bad for her
    - Archer/Phlox scene in sickbay
    - The team’s departure from Enterprise; also, the prep for battle

    The death of Hayes was a big deal. I really liked that character and both his “shining moment” (rescuing Hoshi) and his death were well-done. The scene following with Reed addressing the MACOs was very good and made for one of my favorite moments in the episode.

    And yet another epic space battle, of course. Awesome.

    That all being said . . . I really hate the Sphere-Builders. They were so incredibly lame.
     
  8. thew40

    thew40 Commander Red Shirt

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    Series: Enterprise - Season Three
    Episode: “Zero Hour”
    Trek Installment # 74
    Grade: B
    Viewing Date: November 14, 2009

    Sphere-Builders? Still lame. And defeated as of this episode.

    While as a whole this episode was strong, it had its weaknesses. I have to question why there weren’t more MACOs on the weapon. Or why there weren’t any vessels other than Shran’s waiting for Enterprise and the weapon. No Intrepid or other ships from “The Expanse.” No Vulcans. Nothing but one Andorian ship.

    Oh well – I loved Shran just popping up. Every time I watch this episode, that moment gets me pretty excited.

    The Hoshi scenes were rough to watch, but continued to display just how grim and edgy Archer has become. On top of that, we have a great sequence of the crew all working together. Archer, Reed, and Hoshi trying to destroy the weapon. Travis flying Enterprise into an anomaly around a sphere with Phlox keeping everyone alive and Trip and T’Pol trying to take it out. Awesome to watch the crew come together like this.

    So the day gets saved and all is well. Archer might be dead, but he died a hero. Time to go home, everyone. Good bye, Tucker Smallwood – whose character was so important, but never named. So long, Expanse and all the crazy friends we made there.

    Good ol’ Earth, what a sight . . .

    Oh shit.

    Space Nazis.
     
  9. thew40

    thew40 Commander Red Shirt

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    Season Three Overview

    Overall Season Rating: B
    Best Episode: Similitude
    Best Episode Runner-Up: Twilight
    Worst Episode: Extinction

    Season three of Enterprise presents us with a drastic change in presentation. As opposed to singular stories with loose continuity and the occasional two-part and/or follow-up episode, we have one season long story arc that stretches from season two’s “The Expanse” all the way to season three’s “Zero Hour.” It’s this new direction and massive creative shift that allows for a dose of fresh air for an otherwise struggling show. When we left season two, things were getting rough. While there were some shining moments, season two of Enterprise was creatively bleak. Season three – for better or worse – opened us up to new story elements and new character arcs and created a new dynamic to play off of.

    The Xindi themselves make for an interesting race to challenge our heroes. I give the producers a lot of credit in transforming what could have been a one-dimensional villain into a complex species of five (six) sub-species. Adding to this the sub-plot with the Spheres and the Sphere-Builders, I have to say I appreciate the complexity given to the Xindi. As a whole, the conflict brings something new to the Star Trek universe; something that Enterprise has done only sparsely since its inception. I question the use of the Xindi as opposed to another race (like the Romulans or maybe even the Kzinti) – but that being said, I did very much like this.

    The season as a whole moves along the Xindi storyline, with notable exceptions in “Extinction,” “North Star,” “Similitude,” “Doctor’s Orders,” and “Hatchery,” a relative handful of episodes that obviously count among the best and worst of the season. Unfortunately, the season-long arc made it hard to judge just about every episode on its own. Each episode (save for those listed) depended on the previous or the next to truly matter.

    Probably the most important element to the Xindi arc were the characters involved. Archer was, at this point, a more patient and tolerant person that he had been since first launching from space dock. Unfortunately for him, a lot of that tolerance and patience gets shaken out of him when 7 million people are snuffed out. We see him fall – and big time. He begins to lose his sense of morality, though that ends up working out for him and Earth. There’s a weight of guilt hanging around his neck with every step he needs to take. It works well for Scott Bakula, who is able to pull this off far better than the “happy-go-lucky, nice guy” that Archer was about two seasons ago.

    T’Pol developed well, I think. I can’t say I liked the Trillium-D addiction; actually I found it rather unnecessary. We had a big episode establishing that she has Pa’Nar, why not blame it on that? Maybe even go so far to say the Delphic Expanse is accelerating it. All that aside, though, the loosening on her emotional control worked out rather well for T’Pol and brought about some great scenes.

    As for Trip, well, angst-ridden Trip was a good Trip. I liked seeing his relationship with T’Pol slowly pick up speed and it was nice to see them play off each other. At times, it was little overwhelming because it was just forced down our throats – but it still rather nice. Trip’s dealing with his sister’s death was a nice arc for him and when he finally accepted it in “The Forgotten,” even I was feeling teary-eyed.

    The rest of the crew got development in spades – except Travis, who no one could really decide what to do with. Hoshi was kidnapped and hit on; and then was kidnapped again and tortured. Phlox walked around naked and hallucinated. Reed’s development was up there with the Big Three. His relationship with Hayes made me wish we had a scene in every episode with them.

    And then there was Shran, who was pretty awesome.

    The bad guys worked out well. Degra’s character came around and ended up being more complex than we’d initially thought. Dolim was a pretty cool bad guy. But why was it that names weren’t given out to characters sooner – or in some cases, at all?

    I think the Xindi saga did some serious good for Enterprise. I think it helped add some creativity to the series and progress character arcs further than they would have if the show had maintained its usual alien/forehead/anomaly/planet of the week. I’m not saying it doesn’t have its downfalls – it does, actually, in that the Xindi are way too similar to the Dominion. And the whole thing doesn’t fit well with the established Trek timeline.

    But it was a good move, despite my misgivings, and – oh, shit.

    Space Nazis.
     
  10. thew40

    thew40 Commander Red Shirt

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    Series: Enterprise - Season Four
    Episode: “Storm Front, Part One”
    Trek Installment # 75
    Grade: D+
    Viewing Date: November 21, 2009

    Ugh. Nazis. Mobsters. What is this? TOS?

    This whole episode stinks of piss poor time travel. We have aliens from the future helping the Nazi’s while at the same time, getting help from the Nazis. Why? I don’t know. Wouldn’t it have been more interesting to go to the US and use our resources? And what was Vosk doing there anyways? Was he planning on killing Kirk, Spock, and McCoy when they went back to save/kill Edith Keller? Or O’Brien and Kira when they were looking for Sisko, Bashir, and Dax? What was the point of him being there? Daniels scene where he explained Vosk’s movements were okay . . . but I would have loved to have known what the Suliban had to do with it and how it tied into the Temporal Cold War as a whole.

    I hate how clichéd the mobsters are dressed here. And act. And talk. And look. And were named.

    In terms of characterization, well, Archer has to be the hero again. So there’s that. Mayweather’s idea that they’re there for a reason was his best idea ever. Trip’s frustration over not being home actually mirrors my own. Good to see T’Pol still recovering from her Trillium-D addiction.

    I loved the scene when Archer returns to the bridge. Everyone’s reaction – even Ensign Navigator’s standing up – was great. Hoshi’s big ol’ hug and just the look on T’Pol’s face was well done.

    Overall, a pretty flimsy season opener.
     
  11. apenpaap

    apenpaap Commodore Commodore

    Yeah, Storm's Front is really bad, but unfortuntly it was more or less necessary to ensure Enterprise would get a fourth season. It wasn't clear whether the show would get cancelled when they were making Zero Hour, so they threw that insane cliffhanger in so it HAD to be continued.
     
  12. thew40

    thew40 Commander Red Shirt

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    I understand the situation they were in called for the cliffhanger, but the episode was really dumb and offered very little closure (or explanation) about the Temporal Cold War.

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    Series: Enterprise - Season Four
    Episode: “Storm Front, Part Two”
    Trek Installment # 76
    Grade: C-
    Viewing Date: November 21, 2009

    I loved the opening. Very cool.

    I’ve warmed up to Alicia quite a bit.

    Vosk does have a point here. How many times have we seen human or Federation guys go leaping about time without Daniels showing up?

    Great to have Silik back. He’s still one of my favorite Enterprise villains and I love his team-up with Archer. I loved his conversation with Archer about Vosk and then his attitude towards Carmine. His battle with the Nazis is pretty great, but he goes down like a punk. I bet he never would have thought he’d go down fighting Nazis, but that just seems to be his lot in life. Never knowing what the hell was going on.

    Those mobsters can stick their tommy guns up their asses. “What are we going after next? The Loch Ness monster?” NOT FUNNY.

    At some point, I really wanted a Futurama-esque “Screw history!” from Archer and have him go apeshit on the Space Nazis. Beam a crap load of MACOS and redshirts down there, pop some caps. Use every single resource they have to blow the shit outta the Space Nazis. They kinda do, but . . . eh, it would have been cooler in my head.

    Archer sure was a douchebag towards Daniels.

    Back home . . . WHERE THE HELL WAS THIS FLEET DURING THE BATTLE WITH THE SPHERE?!

    God, it’s over. The Temporal Cold War was left a big freaking mess and without proper closure. Bleh. I’m too mad to even rant.
     
  13. thew40

    thew40 Commander Red Shirt

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    Series: Enterprise - Season Four
    Episode: “Home”
    Trek Installment # 77
    Grade: B+
    Viewing Date: November 21, 2009

    “Home” is the season premiere I wanted from the beginning. There’s no sci-fi twist, no big huge action sequence. Simply the crew coming home and dealing with the changes both they and their worlds have gone through.

    The episode kinda gives us a glance at where we’re at. It’s nice breath of fresh air, even if it could have been longer. We see Vulcan, but only long enough to see what has happened to T’Pol’s mother and for Trip to understand his deep feelings for T’Pol. Koss makes his first appearance here and becomes one of the few Vulcans I actually enjoy. Likewise, I liked T’Les, after a while. The two played off each other well, bringing us a more grounded family relationship. Trip role was well handled here, being kinda the tag-along boyfriend – sorta. T’Les’ eventual acceptance of him was nice.

    Archer’s coming to terms with the changes he’s been through plays out well, though doesn’t do much other than calm him down. Hernandez was great and has become a favorite of mine. Their scenes were good and the pair had some chemistry. I loved the ending with Soval and Archer finally coming to terms.

    Earth is dealt with in moderation. The xenophobic guy in the bar was pretty clichéd, but the scene did an effective job of nailing home the idea to Phlox that humanity is troubled. On top of that, it shows that humanity still may not be as ready as we believed them to be.

    This episode brings us back. The Xindi arc is done and over with, the Temporal Cold War is finished – time to relax for a minute before getting back out there.
     
  14. thew40

    thew40 Commander Red Shirt

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    Since we've reached the story arcs of Enterprise, I figured I would post 'em together.

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    Series: Enterprise - Season Four
    Episode: “Borderland”
    Trek Installment # 78
    Grade: B+
    Viewing Date: November 21, 2009

    As a whole, I liked this episode quite a bit. Lots of fun scenes and some great acting on Brent Spiner’s part as basically a 22nd century mad scientist.

    The relaunch of the Enterprise was a highlight of the episode. There are some light, subtle changes to Enterprise that I really. Archer’s present to Commander T’Pol was surprisingly touching. Phlox/Soong scene was good too.

    While the Orion scene is bit of a distraction, I loved it. It fit well with the gritty, volatile region of space. Ensign Pierce, while a real spaz, was a good choice for the slave trade scene. The Orions themselves are presented well and the scene in it of itself was pretty cool. I thought Big Orion’s shaking of T’Pol was funny; as was when the sedated Orion passed out.

    The Augments themselves were little flat, with the typical angry youths things going on. I can see a bit of Khan in them, though. Maybe it’s the hair, maybe it’s the tattered outfits, but whatever the case is, they channel Khan.

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    Series: Enterprise - Season Four
    Episode: “Cold Station 12”
    Trek Installment # 79
    Grade: B
    Viewing Date: November 21, 2009

    One problem I’m coming up with these episodes is that they’re hard to judge on an isolated basis. I had this issue with some episodes of the Xindi arc. While each has its own qualities, they don’t stand alone well. But that being said, this is very much the monkey in the middle. The introduction – and death of – Udar gave the arc a good twist. I liked Cold Station 12 too – but I’m a fan of anything that explores different areas of Starfleet during this time period. Furthermore, Spiner continues to portray half loving father/half mad scientist Doctor Soong very well.

    Again, I wish there was more to say, but . . . uh, nope.

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    Series: Enterprise - Season Four
    Episode: “The Augments”
    Trek Installment # 80
    Grade: B+
    Viewing Date: November 21, 2009

    So here we have the conclusion to the Augments arc. I’m actually pretty impressed with Enterprise pulling this one off as they did. This was a good, strong arc that pushed us forward and kept us moving. There were some distracting bits in there – like CS12 and the Orions, but they also added texture to the overall story. This episode played out well as the conclusion, tying up all loose ends from the beginning of the arc – T’Pol and Trip; the possible war with the Klingons; the fate of CS12; and even the Denobulan.

    It avoided the cliché of having Soong die with the Augments. The idea that the Augments basically self-destructed was cool and I liked the twist at the end, when Malik showed up on Enterprise. While I still found the Augments fairly flat, this arc served to really show us these characters and the concept of genetic engineering. It serves as a good link between the Eugenics Wars and the Khan stories later.

    Nice continuity bits. Botany Bay, Khan, the Briar Patch. I’m a big fan of that. I did feel like the end was pretty forced and I was left curious as to when Arik was able to marry and sire a child? Before he was arrested? After?
     
  15. RandyS

    RandyS Vice Admiral Admiral

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    ^Maybe all Soongs after him are illegitmate? One of my best friends' parents were never married, but he was raised by his dad and stepmom and carries his dad's last name.

    By the way, I've been enjoying your reviews of my least favorite Star Trek series. Keep 'em coming.

    Can't wait for you to get to TATV.:lol:
     
  16. thew40

    thew40 Commander Red Shirt

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    Thank you!
    Might be a while for TATV as, chronologically, it takes place in TNG season 6 (I think).

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    Series: Enterprise - Season Four
    Episode: “The Forge”
    Trek Installment # 81
    Grade: B+
    Viewing Date: November 23, 2009

    We finally get into the Vulcan arc, which I’ve been wanting to see for a long while. I’ve made my opinions about the Vulcan very clear. I don’t really like them; but this arc is what changes my mind.

    I loved Soval and Forest’s talk about humanity. Very interesting and allowed for a more insightful view of the Vulcan’s take on we Earthlings. Poor Forest. He was a pretty decent character, though he wasn’t much more than a background player. He went out well, though, saving Soval. Archer and Soval’s scene with the caskets was the high point of the episode. It spoke well of the development of Soval and Archer and really brought their characters together.

    Though it’s strange to see Soval playing the good guy. Awesome, but strange.

    The basketball game was fun.

    The Forge was well-presented and we got some great peeks into Vulcan mythology, as well as showing us that the Asshat Vulcans actually just wrong.

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    Series: Enterprise - Season Four
    Episode: “The Awakening”
    Trek Installment # 82
    Grade: B+
    Viewing Date: November 23, 2009

    While I would say this episode is a lot like “Cold Station 12” in that it’s hard to judge on its own, it does in fact offer a more closed story. We get a nice dose of the Syrannites and get a better understanding of the politics and motivations of the characters present – to an extent.

    V’Les is the one character who is almost impossible to pin down. I find him to be very mustache twirling and clichéd. He is way too emotional and it bothers me that he basically has one guy standing up to him and the rest of the Vulcan flunkies just kinda standing around. The idea of war with Andoria not unbelievable, given Shran’s actions in the Delphic Expanse, but no one questions the guy at all – at least, not more than he needs to be.

    On the other hand, we have T’Pau and T’Les, who are both well-rounded, very balance Vulcans that we know so well. T’Pau, actually, is super-hot. Yum. Er . . . but yeah, they bring about Vulcans that are flawed as well. They’re struggling not only to fit into society, but to also accept humanity and other aliens.

    Then there’s Surak, who is very well played. He brings about a much needed change in Archer, who goes a little Indian Jones here. More than that, though, Surak becomes what moves Archer away from the last of his prejudices towards Vulcans.

    And, once more, Soval is just weird playing the good guy. But he does it so well!

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    Series: Enterprise - Season Four
    Episode: “The Awakening”
    Trek Installment # 83
    Grade: B-
    Viewing Date: November 23, 2009

    So we have come to the end of the Vulcan arc, which is pretty damn exciting. Lots of action for a race that I once considered to be the most boring out of all species. While the first two parts dealt with more heavily with the political and mythological aspects of Vulcans, this one delivered the, er, more action-y parts.

    It definitely made a pretty big splash in the overall Trek-verse, with introducing the true teachings of Surak, placing T’Pau at the top, putting Soval back in her ambassadorial role – and, most importantly, allowing humanity to stand on its own.

    It puts to rest Archer’s hatred of Vulcans – which, in my mind, is effectively gone the moment he gives the Vulcan salute. It ends the war with the Andorians – after a wicked battle, of course. And hey, we got Shran in and he was pretty badass and awesome. T’Pol was also cured of her Pa’Nar.

    But while I applaud the introduction of these concepts, I can’t help but reopen my critisms about V’Les. These are pretty much washed away at the end, with the revelation that Romulans had been involved. But I still have to bitch about the cardboard cutouts that just kinda stand around and look like Vulcans instead of saying “shut up” or “he’s wrong” or speaking at all. And I thought the scenes of Shran torturing Soval were a little much and seemed forced.

    Other than that, though, this was great. Let’s do it again in, say, two episodes? Good? Great. It’s a date.
     
  17. thew40

    thew40 Commander Red Shirt

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    Location:
    The Planet Akron in the Ohio Sector
    Whoa, fallin' behind!

    Series: Enterprise - Season Four
    Episode: “Daedalus”
    Trek Installment # 84
    Grade: D-
    Viewing Date: November 26, 2009

    One of the first things I noticed was how relaxed everyone is. Felt like old times. And there was some more “are they or aren’t they” moments for Trip and T’Pol. Beyond that, this episode was a failure.

    It had a failed scientist coming aboard to fix a failed mission that his failure son went on. While I liked meeting Ericson and actually liked the actor, it just didn’t work out. It collapsed in execution, despite at times reminding me of TNG and TOS. Archer’s faith in Ericson comes as a big surprise as he never seemed to trust the transporter. If he didn’t have faith in it to begin with, then that means that Archer lacks faith in Ericson and thus should not be so trusting of him in this failed experiment.

    This episode belonged in the first season.

    D– for doing some universe building, though.

    -----------

    Series: Enterprise – Season Four
    Episode: “Observer Effect”
    Trek Installment # 85
    Grade: A-
    Viewing Date: November 26, 2009

    Creepy yet cool teaser.

    Why is it the best Enterprise episodes have to do with death and mortality? It doesn’t make any sense to me, but . . . whatever, it works. This one does a great job of finally giving Hoshi some time to shine and has her connect with Trip and deepening their friendship.

    The use of the Organians here was a very good choice. While we could have seen Q or something more generic, using this particular species worked out because it elaborated on their history and standards. It fleshed them out and gave them some meat as opposed to their TOS counter-parts.

    I don’t quite understand why it is Enterprise does such a good job at writing about mortality, but damn . . . it hits it out of the park.
     
  18. thew40

    thew40 Commander Red Shirt

    Joined:
    Aug 7, 2003
    Location:
    The Planet Akron in the Ohio Sector
    Series: Enterprise – Season Four
    Episode: “Babel One,” “United,” “The Aenar”
    Trek Installment # 86, 87, 88
    Grade: B+ (“Babel One”); B+ (“United”); B+ (The Aenar)
    Viewing Date: November 26, 2009

    So I make it a point to write up a review of an episode immediately after I watch it. Unfortunately, I messed this one up big time, watched these three episodes and forgot. But given the nature of this trilogy, I figured it might be a good idea to just write each review as smaller segments of one big review.

    All said, this is the probably largest effort by Enterprise to focus on its second mythology – the building of the universe that we all know and love. Not only do we have a prequel of sorts to “Journey to Babel,” but we also see the beginnings of both the United Federation of Planets and the Romulan War. In an overall sense, these three episodes are perhaps three of the most important in all Trek. And they’re damn good.

    I was very satisfied to see Archer in this role, as I don’t think anyone could have pulled this off. Archer acts as the mediator - the center, the peacemaker. He has a great relationship with the Andorians and (more recently) the Vulcans. The Tellarites don’t know him very well, but that’s okay. Could they work together on their own? No. This was Archer.

    In addition to the slow build into the Federation, we also go in-depth with the Andorians. I found Andor to be very fascinating. I enjoyed the Ushaan battle, even though it felt like a distraction from the overall plot. It at least showed off Archer’s willingness to see this alliance happen. I also liked the introduction of the Aenar. It was a very different concept and it’s presence added yet another layer to the Andorians.

    The Tellarites were also nicely done. Other than that loser bounty hunter back in season two, I’m not very familiar with the Tellarites. The complaints, arguments and insults thrown around were very entertaining.

    Then there’s the Romulans. I liked Valdore. He was a bit of bad-ass. Would have been nice to have seen more of him, but . . . we knew where the series was going.

    Ultimately, my biggest problem was that we didn’t see much of a fleet battle. We have a fleet and an enemy, but no awesome huge battle. I can live with what we had, though. It was cool anyways – especially with those close-ups from Reed and Trip’s POV.

    Some more Vulcans would have been appreciated, too.

    On a side-note, it was nice to see Trip and Reed on another adventure, but I felt bad for Trip since things with him and T’Pol have cooled.
     
  19. thew40

    thew40 Commander Red Shirt

    Joined:
    Aug 7, 2003
    Location:
    The Planet Akron in the Ohio Sector
    Series: Enterprise – Season Four
    Episode: “Affliction”
    Trek Installment # 89
    Grade: B-
    Viewing Date: November 27, 2009

    This episode takes places 145 years from today. Awesome! I guess that means the Klingons are cranky because it’s the day after their Klingon Thanksgiving. If you laugh, that was my joke. If you didn’t, blame my wife; she came up with it.

    Anyways, Enterprise revisits the Klingons. This is a touchy subject for Enterprise, as out of all the episodes they’ve been in, there’s only been one good Klingon episode. This one isn’t nearly as insightful as “Judgment,” but it’s certainly not “Marauders” or “Sleeping Dogs.” In terms of the way the Klingons are presented, I do give the producers credit. These Klingons exhibit activities more associated with their 23rd century counterparts. Kidnapping, subterfuge, sabotage, working through proxies . . . these aren’t the 24th century Klingons and they’re not the bumbling bully Klingons we saw earlier in the series. These guys means business, but are doing it 23rd century-style.

    In that, I give a tip of the hat.

    Now, dealing with Reed’s association with Section 31, it’s a little shoe-horned. I can deal with that, but it just doesn’t feel completely “real” to me. Actually, to be honest, I kind of cringe at it, simply because it’s so forced in there. But whatever – it’s decent for what it is and I like to see Reed struggle with his loyalties.

    On a smaller note, I did like seeing T’Pol’s first regular mind meld and Archer’ couching her. I also enjoyed seeing Hernandez, who is one of my favorite secondary characters.
     
  20. thew40

    thew40 Commander Red Shirt

    Joined:
    Aug 7, 2003
    Location:
    The Planet Akron in the Ohio Sector
    Series: Enterprise – Season Four
    Episode: “Divergence”
    Trek Installment # 90
    Grade: C+
    Viewing Date: November 27, 2009

    While “Affliction” showed us the Empire in transition, “Divergence” just kinda wrapped it up. There was a lack of character building – except for Phlox and Uncle Phil. We go through some exciting battles, hair-brained ship transfers, and lots of drama before we get to what this two parter really wanted us to see: ridge-less Klingons.

    Not that I minded and this was among the superior Klingon episodes, but I believe a more interesting idea would have been to tell this story from the Klingons POV. Maybe open with a story set during TOS and have a child getting an injection that will serve as both a vaccine for the plague and will give him ridges. The child asks why this is and we get a story about Starfleet from the Klingons POV. Maybe that’s just me.

    Anyways, this was weaker than “Affliction,” but it was fun. The Klingons really came into their own with this episode and we continue to see them develop. I’ll talk more about the Klingons in my season four overview.
     

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