First-Timer's Impressions of Enterprise

Discussion in 'Star Trek: Enterprise' started by Jimmy Bob, Jul 6, 2009.

  1. Jimmy Bob

    Jimmy Bob Commander Red Shirt

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    Marauders

    "Why so uninspired?" - Joker

    Indeed. Why such mediocrity? This is definitely an episode to be cut out from the season. This didn't even feel like Enterprise at all. It felt more like A-Team. It was completely like that simplistic 80's action show writing.

    You know.

    The noble band of good guys stop in a random village for supplies. The town leader acts all suspicious. The noble band of good guys get all inquisitive. Then they hide to witness how the local Bully Gang of Hellriders are all mean and bad towards the poor townsfolk. The leader of the noble band of good guys says: "I've never liked bullies." And they promise to help. Lot of scenes, including one where the local orphan develops a friendship with Mr.T. And then they both eat cookies and milk, because milk is good for you. And it's like the most meaningful and heart-warming scenes ever in tv history. Lot of other scenes where the noble band of good guys teach the townsfolk how to fight. There's probably some romance and then there's some angsty guy and some cautious guy and stuff. And then the bullies come back, but now the good guys with the townsfolk kick their butt. Then the bullies wake up from death to launch their evil bully attack. But the good guys are smart. They trap the bullies in the Trap of Bullies. Sometimes the local orphan gets into trouble in moments like this, because he/she wanted to avenge her/his father/grandfather. Then Mr.T will do something to bad guys. But eventually they all (bad guys) fall into the Trap of Bullies. And then the townsfolk let them go, because... they're stupid tropes of stupid and simplistic tv writing. Well that and because: "Well I hope you bullies have learned from your mistakes! [Insert painful moral lesson]." To which bullies agree with and promise to never be mean again. And then there's the funny ending scene, where Mad Murdoch says something stupid and they all go: "Here we go again!" and laugh. Stupid sad little episode.

    I haven't seen such mediocrity in a long time. It was just sad. No matter how many continuity cards this episode pulls out, I'll still pretend that it was just a bad dream.
     
  2. Jimmy Bob

    Jimmy Bob Commander Red Shirt

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    The Seventh

    Surprisingly decent episode. Despite the fact that it shares some of that "I think I've seen this plot in some old tv series or a movie" vibe with Marauders. Saved by the characters. Which is getting a bit too typical for Enteprise. But damn... T'Pol's great. Jolene's great.

    T'Pol has come a long way that she now trusts Archer with this side of her life. You could actually feel that she is putting herself out there. In the open. A lot of vulnerability.

    And I enjoyed her vulnerability in dealing with that "deleted memory" too. But otherwise... yeah too typical. Not to Trek, but to storytelling in general. Just saved by acting. Liked it, because it moves the captain's and T'Pol's relationship a bit further.

    I find it interesting that how much the Enterprise vulcans are modeled after US. Modeled after how the critical left sees US anyway. However Enterprise is not a maniphest, like the first seasons of TNG were (against Reagan's America). It just seems to capture that 00's spirit, perhaps intentionally or unintentionally. Don't know. Just that vulcans are pretty similar to US.
     
  3. Jimmy Bob

    Jimmy Bob Commander Red Shirt

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    The Communicator

    I think this has been the most fun I've had with an episode since Carbon Creek. Season 2 seems to take it really slow... the path to goodness, I mean. But it has done some character growing and disovery. Malcolm's and Archer's relationship is an example (almost the only one, but there's some T'Pol/Archer stuff too). Currently my impression is that Malcolm and Archer will always have some distance between them... they're just not that compatible. Mutual respect keeping it's distance is the most their relationship will be. And not everyone should be best buddies with the captain, it's just that considering Trek's, the potential conflicting relationship with the captain and Malcolm might just go Voyager with itself (only existing in the minds of most loyal viewers).

    Also this episode revealed the current status of T'Pol's and ARcher's relationship. In the past, whenever Archer was in trouble T'Pol was all like "we will only save the captain if it doesn't break any protocols, there's no need to worry, captains are after all replaceable", but now she was all visibly worried and scared and "poor Archy is in jail... how is he going to get his vitamins?"
    Archer, however, was all "if I know T'Pol, she will atleast get my bones so they wouldn't break any protocols."

    This means that currently T'Pol trusts and cares more about Archer, than Archer about T'Pol. Archer cares, but he doesn't trust. He still expects the worst. Possibly to avoid unfulfilled expectations and hopes? Hopefully Archer won't just awaken T'Pol's maternal instincts... but the more interesting ones as well.
     
  4. HopefulRomantic

    HopefulRomantic hyperpolypyroferricist redux Moderator

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    Your review of "Marauders" was frickin hilarious. I think I will enjoy this episode much more the next time I see it, because I will be envisioning Mr. T and the cute orphan boy, and the Bully Gang of Hellriders, and the Trap of Bullies... [​IMG]

    Well, nobody hits it out of the park every time. :p

    But not necessarily a bad thing. I really cared about the characters in Enterprise. They helped me through many a plot stumble. :)

    Perhaps. I think at this point they're moving from a partnership of mutual respect and trust, to a personal friendship. It's understandable that Archer would be wary of making friends with a Vulcan, since he's been screwed over by so many Vulcans, and his idealistic vision of exploration has been tempered by a good dose of disillusionment.

    But I don't think he is the give-up-hope type. He's realizing that T'Pol is different from typical Vulcans. And I think he values her trust and loyalty. I liked watching their friendship evolve over time, with both of them getting past their preconceptions and prejudices.
     
  5. Jimmy Bob

    Jimmy Bob Commander Red Shirt

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    Yeah that's it. Sometimes you're just looking for the words and... just fail to express whatever foggy impression or understanding you currently possess.

    I'm still amazed that Enterprise actually does this evolving business. T'Pol and Archer definitely ain't the same persons they were in Broken Bow. Hoshi too has grown. I'm not so sure about Trip and Doctor. And Malcolm definitely has spent a year on a ship that's philosophy is completely different from his.

    In a franchise where you can hope that perhaps in the last season, someone's mother might die, so some character could get to do "hey this is what I'm all about" scenes. That is, with previous Trek the characters were more non-existant somehow... I usually had to piece them together from all the little information we got about them in 7 seasons.

    But Archer, T'Pol, Malcolm and, due some extent, Hoshi already have broken free from that mold. I don't have to glue various pieces together and call it Riker for example. However Trip and Doctor, currently, have more in common with characters of previous Trek's. In this that they require a long meditation to get some clue about their nature. I guess Trip suffers from his.. his...umm... he's too general, I guess. And Doctor has been confined into sickbay for too long.

    But mostly, there has been lot of growing and evolving and developing relationships and stuff.

    No, not a bad thing. Just an overtendency to give them too much generic stories.
     
  6. Jimmy Bob

    Jimmy Bob Commander Red Shirt

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    Singularity

    This episode does "day in the life" much better than Night in Sickbay. For one thing, it's actually funny. I'd say it's one of the better comedy episodes. While Trek has seen it's fair share of "crew acts funny because of..." episodes, this time the characters felt in-character. For one thing, I think the writers have done some Hoshi/Malcolm pairing so it felt natural that Hoshi would get bugged about "it's a bit too salty" thing.

    And since season 2 has built a certain chasm between Malcolm and the Captain, it felt natural that Malcolm would act in the way he did in this episode.

    And it was funny.

    Archer: "Let me read you the rest.
    Trip: "I really need to get to work on this."
    Archer: "Just a few more pages."
    Trip: "How many more?"
    Archer: "19."
    Trip: "19! Are you writing the preface or the book?"
    Archer: "I've got a lot to say"
    Trip: "No kidding."
    Archer: "What's that supposed to mean?"
    Trip: "Well if I may sir, it's a little long-winded."
    Archer: "You're lucky that you're a decent engineer, because you obviously don't know anything about writing."
    Trip: "I'm not the only one."
     
  7. bluedana

    bluedana Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    You know, I never really looked at this episode or scene as a statement on Archer's relationship with T'Pol. I'm not sure I'd go so far as making it about how much he doesn't trust her still. I thought, and still do, that it's more a statement of Archer's equanimity about death. That he's fully not expecting to get out alive (and oddly, Malcolm is holding on to optimism), and he knows T'Pol will do the right thing and not leave any evidence of them there. That's trust of a sort, I guess. He seems at least resigned to it - until he sees Reed walk up to the gallows, and then he loses it. He's okay with his own sacrificial death, but not any one of his crew. And that's a theme that comes back over and over.

    Singularity manages to be funny without what I used to call the "flutes of hilarity" in TOS. I think it works precisely because it isn't really played for laughs; there's a deadly serious aspect to it, and it's narrated by the one person on board who arguably does not have a sense of humour. So I'm sitting there laughing while the person telling me the story is all, This is NOT funny. Stop laughing. Makes it funnier, really.
     
  8. Jimmy Bob

    Jimmy Bob Commander Red Shirt

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    Vanishing Point

    :cardie: Que paso, El Frodo?
    :vulcan:

    Hmm...

    At first I thought I was watching Stargate. I kinda dropped out on that show somewhere in season 3-4, some 7-8 years ago. Not at choice.. I loved that show, but my local channels stopped showing that somewhere in that time. The beginning of this episode made me nostalgic.

    So what happened? I was kinda going: "Oh Braga, not DNA again?!", but then I kinda realized that this episode is much more than DNA malfunction. Or something...

    Perhaps it would be better if I'd just go scene by scene and describe what went on in my mind. Well almost scene by scene.

    Hoshi sits down to eat with the guys. Guys talk and stuff.

    Help, my DNA malfunctioned? Oh God, not again. However that dialogue scene between the guys was pretty wonderfully guy-ish.

    Guys just leave.

    Hey, that was just rude.

    Hoshi goes to Doctor for the first time.

    Yeah, I think I know where this is going. No one's going to take you seriously and then you vanish, right?

    Hoshi on the bridge. Just fails there.

    Okay, this just felt weird. Like a dream or something. If it is a DNA episode, it certainly seems to be well directed. Almost a nightmarish quality.

    Hoshi in the shower. Water goes through her.

    Okay, definitely a more interesting approach.

    Hoshi chats with T'Pol

    I didn't know that T'Pol could be such a bitch. Okay, by this time I'm already interested in the episode. I think I know where this is going, but it seems to be done in an interesting angle. Until to the point where Trip and Phlox find a brown ooze and say that it's all that is left of Hoshi. And then Trip does his lamentation monologue. Which felt bizarrely fake. And then the alien guy jumps out.. which startled me... and then it really feels very bizarrely unreal and nightmarish. Is this stupid or not? I just can't decide.

    Archer speaks with Hoshi's father.

    This just feels so bizarrely fake. This feels so fake that I want to call it bad writing, but... in a bizarrely compelling way, it sort of works.

    By this time the episode is really in that dream-like vibe. But I'm still thinking it's just an interesting direction and am waiting for the straightforward actiony ending... and then Hoshi steps on the transporter. And then it was huh?

    So it's either a really bad episode or a clever psychological study of Hoshi's character. And right now I'm going with the clever psychological part. Because... it just lends itself to why all the characters act in a strange way so much better. It's how Hoshi see's them. The guys are probably unintentionally ignoring her on some level. And to her, T'Pol is a bitch.

    So if I had the brain for it, I could probably to an interesting through character study from this episode. For example, how Archer is the only person on board who acts in an understanding way towards Hoshi. This hearkens back to Flight or Fight. And T'Pol has acted in a more... different way with Hoshi... which could be seen as extra-bitchy from a certain personal point of view. And all that how everyone just doesn't see her or hear her, unless they want to... or how she's brushed aside, or how the ship just won't react to her presence... if I had the brain for it, I could write some interesting things about it. Alas I don't. But basically, this episode is Hoshi's self-contained meditation on her fears. I sort of see that actiony end part as Hoshi giving up on her sense of being invisible and taking control of her psyche. She doesn't need the approval or praise of others to be a wholesome healthy person... or something like that. I just don't have the brain for it now.

    So yeah, it's either a brilliant psychological meditation on Hoshi's character or a very stupid episode.
     
  9. bluedana

    bluedana Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    Don't take this the wrong way, Jimmy Bob, but, You're not as dumb as you think you are.
     
  10. Jimmy Bob

    Jimmy Bob Commander Red Shirt

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    Long time no see. So what happened? Precious Cargo happened.

    Precious Cargo


    It wasn't Precious Cargo itself alone, but some general issues with season 2 itself. You know, when you're watching something and suddenly it strikes you that you have heard every single line of this somewhere else. Every joke or dramatic moments are like from various different movies. Like this time it was like Romancing the Stone or It Happened One Night. But every trope is presented without irony or acknowledgement. And when that happens, you just... cling to the hope that it will be over soon. This is Season 2. There are some good moments, but for some reason season 2 has decided that it's a good idea to rehash old ideas from old movies. Where are the Suliban, the dirty Vulcan imperialistic politics, the complex vulcan religions, the Time War... all that stuff that made season 1 interesting. God, what was wrong with the showrunners? Why they just decided to ignore the things that they got right in season 1? God... this episode... okay, I kinda liked the moment where Archer tricked that alien into believing that T'Pol's some renegade inquisitior type who'se actions would abhorr even the most coldest vulcan. But... I do like that Bollywood beauty type as much as the next man, but... she was horrible, the plot was horrible... the episode was horrible and painful and I just wanted it to end and then I just couldn't motivate myself to touch Enterprise again. Because the problems of Precious Cargo are the problems of season 2 so far. Sometimes the appetizer is a bit salty, you can take that, then the main course it a bit too salty, you'll live because at least the meat was great, but when you're given the dessert that is just one big pile of salt...

    Here's to hoping that the Suliban or the Andorians come back soon.
     
  11. Lady Conqueror

    Lady Conqueror Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    I can't site a source (I know, me bad :p ) but I thought I read somewhere that the UPN suits told B&B to back off the Vulcan stories during S2. It doesn't really explain why they seemed to also back off on the Suliban/Tandaran/TCW stuff though. The show does pick up a little from here on out though. And yes the Andorians and Suliban do return.

    I understand a lot of the criticisms of season 2 from people but I personally still quite enjoyed it.
     
  12. commodore64

    commodore64 Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Jimmy Bob, thank you for seeing Enterprise mostly the same way I do. Look forward to your next review.

    Nah, you're absolutely normal and I think your standards are just spiffy. Seriously, I was wondering if I was reading my own analysis of episodes, but from a funnier person. :) Pray, continue.
     
  13. Jimmy Bob

    Jimmy Bob Commander Red Shirt

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    And continue I will.

    The Catwalk

    Music. With Melody. Music that I can actually hear. On a conscious level. Hum along to. Now that's rare. Star Trek soundtracks work mostly on a subconscious level, obviously without it the scenes would lack, but you never actually notice that there is music in the background. But in this episode... I could actually feel the music. It was that one theme that played when they were evacuating themselves into that catwalk section. Nothing special when compared to more musical shows (Legend of the Seeker, for example, is a very "musical" show), but very rare and very much appreciated in Star Trek.

    Okay the episode itself is still very season 2 - remaking old movies. There were couple of moments that were just too... season 2. But, I'd say it's one of the strongest episodes of season 2. I quite enjoyed it.

    Oh, and from a character development side I noticed how Archer was... somewhat distrustful of those refugees after they had told their final and true story. The Big Bad Universe has been harsh to Archer. Gone is that innocent and naive taxi-driver who just wanted to take people home. :(

    Trip and Malcolm also helped the episode with their banter. So, not bad.
     
  14. Jimmy Bob

    Jimmy Bob Commander Red Shirt

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    Dawn

    Hmm. Darmok?

    TNG is a show that has more common with Outer Limits and other shows like that. TNG shares the similar sci-fi/weird vibe with them. So when TNG does an episode with an important moral lesson, it's all part of the charm. Outer Limits, Twilight Zone, etc - were all about moral lessons in a sci-fi environment.

    But Enterprise doesn't have TNG's classic decorous charm. It has it's own charms, but not that charm that would let it get away with a "moral lesson" episode like this and make you feel like it was the greatest thing ever.

    But, perhaps it was the break or something, but this episode eventually won me over. So yeah, it's as season 2 as it gets, but I like to watch Trip. Connor is a very charming performer.

    Mid-Season Impressions

    You probably might have gotten a clue how I feel about season 2. Well, basically I think season 2 was the wrongest way possible to follow on season 1. Season 1 stumbled, but it did a lot of interesting things and ended on a brilliant cliffhanger. Season 2 botched that cliffhanger and replaced all those interesting vulcans, andorians and suliban with rehashes from countless series and movies that everyone probably have seen before.

    Basically Season 2 is wrong. But that doesn't mean there aren't good things happening in this wrongness. Carbon Creek and Vanishing Point for example. Or fleshing out Archer's and Malcolm's relationship - these guys just aren't going to get each other. Archer would like to, but Malcolm is just not going to let all that water polo pass. And we also could see how T'Pol and Archer have grown more closer over the year. And Vanishing Point, which I already mentioned, was (probably) a very clever character study of Hoshi.

    But that's basically it. Season 2 has done very little to actually build this universe. By this time in season 1, we already had Andorian Incident and Cold Front, which promised as rather interesting storylines. But season 2...

    From a character development side, so far the most developed are Archer, T'Pol and Malcolm. Hoshi had Vanishing Point, but Trip and Doctor are more into one-note category. In previous mid-season period, Trip was one of the more developed ones, while Malcolm was the least developed one.

    I consider Travis to be just an extra, so he doesn't concern me as that much. That extra likes to smile a lot though.
     
  15. Michael

    Michael *:・゚✧ . ゜・ Moderator

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    Enemy Mine. ;)
     
  16. Pemmer Harge

    Pemmer Harge Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    Sorry to come so late to this, but Carbon Creek was the first episode of Enterprise that I really enjoyed (though granted, I didn't see all of Season 1). I wouldn't call myself a fan of this show, but I'm certainly a fan of this episode. Mestral!
     
  17. Jimmy Bob

    Jimmy Bob Commander Red Shirt

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    Stigma

    Vulcans! Vulcans, baby, they're back! :):eek::bolian:

    Finally. I don't know, it might have been the questionable half-a-season we've got so far, but this episode really felt like the greatest thing ever.

    Being a pretty straightforward allegory, this marks a return of season 1 into season 2, but just saying it's about "homo's are people too" is slightly boring. Because social stigma itself is such a varied phenomen, so I'll try to view from the subject of social stigma itself, rather than just the most obvious group the social stigma would be directed at in our society.

    And I have this urge to rant.

    It's funny how all these "standards of normality" things depend on interpretation. Like Augustine says something stupid, because he's a stupid misogynistic asshole, and then for a whole millenia people spend their brains to prove him right. Augustine equated the "original sin" with sex and suffice to say, when you're going to take a course in medieval scholastics you're going to have some real facepalm moments. It's quite awful when people protect the prejudices of 5th century as the opinion of God.

    Like these Vulcan "moral majority" guys. Of course we later see that mind meld's aren't actually a threat at all to vulcan society... but since sometimes change might require one to lay down his "righteous moral superiority", it's much easier just to go on being "righteous". Righteousness is a lie, it's a self-deception at best. A feeling somewhat similar to hate. I am most likely feeling quite righteous when I say this, so take it with a grain of salt... but still.

    I mean, all standards of normality are influenced by prejudice of some sort. People used to think of music as evil. Actor's were considered to be tool's of satan... because they entertained, and well all that laughter is like evil, you know. Or people with disabilities. I've read that in medieval Russia, disabled people were considered holy and thus got treated well. But that certainly must have been in the past, because recent BBC article revealed how people with disabilites get beaten up on the streets in Russia. Well, disabled people were considered somewhat holy in all medieval europe, but I'm trying to write examples here.

    Or the equation of left-handed people with Satan that existed in medieval europe, and exists still in parts of Asia and Africa. And it's all about righteousness.

    And well, it's not just religion. Nation-states are a scary thing too. Countries where one ethnicity equals the state. Now imagine being in that country when you're part of an ethnicity that isn't considered part of "the normal". Not necessarily immigrants, but part of the group that might have lived on that country as long as the normal ethnicity, just with a different language or customs. We have quite a lot of those countries in Europe. Just bringing this out so people wouldn't automatically think of all those "funny unimportant countries", where people do things "differently". And I guess, US applies somewhat too, because indians must always be magical and mystical on tv. You know, different.

    All these standards of normality that someone made up and now must be protected from the undesirable's. Because it's culture or tradition or something like that. "Oh my God, our way of life will be doomed if we do things differently." But no one considers that way of life's have been very different in the past. In a way, all this "preservation of culture" phenomen we now have in these "end of history" societies is quite similar to the Augustine example above. Because the preserved culture is usually very new, as that culture changed from something else into that culture that must be preserved from the undesirable elements.

    Well, yeah, there have been so much and there are still so many social stigma's that I could just go on and on. Social Stigma – I think I tried to do some analyze on how and why it exists, but rant is as rant does. Also, I'm sleepy. Sorry.
     
    Last edited: Oct 15, 2009
  18. Jimmy Bob

    Jimmy Bob Commander Red Shirt

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    Cease Fire

    Andorians! An-do-ri-ans! An-do-ri-ans!

    *does a freaky little geeky excited dance*

    It would be really funny if the next episode would feature the Suliban, so I would shut up with my "where are the vulcans, andorians and suliban" whining and then the show would just continue on with remaking old movies.

    And oh, this episode also had Suzie Plakson. Unfortunately in role that didn't really capture all that made me love her with K'Ehleyr and Lady Q.

    I found Stigma to be pretty amazing, but Cease Fire was more into season 2 territory. I think I saw this episode in Hercules: The Legendary Journeys. Old semi-nemesis/friend is surrounded by the Military of Militarity, but he has hostages so he says that he'll only talk with Kevin Sorbo. So Kevin Sorbo comes, talks and says that he tries to bring in the ambassador of Military of Militarity. So Kevin Sorbo goes to see the ambassador, agrees him into it, starts to go to his buddy/semi-nemesis, but get's attacked on the way by buddy's evil first in command. But Kevin Sorbo made a promise, and he's going to keep that promise, so beware buddy's evil first in command, Sorbo is gonna break through!

    Well I liked watching it because it had andorians and Suzie Plakson, but in that Hercules episode the ambassador was also very negative towards Hercules but said a semi-compliment to him in the end of the episode... so yeah... it was just too similar to everything I've seen before. Just a bit too much season 2.
     
  19. Dane_Whitman

    Dane_Whitman Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    I really like Cease Fire for this alone:

     
  20. commodore64

    commodore64 Vice Admiral Admiral

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    IMO, season 2 gets better. Hang in there. Marauders is the worst of it.