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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    Proving Ground

    Oh God. Aren't Andorians just one of the coolest species ever? I mean that ship's interiors just look so good.

    Shran is just... is definitely an awesome character. And this episode did even manage to make me feel somewhat nostalgic of the old joyrides in space days.

    There this wonderful element of distrust and genuine friendship at the same in this episode. Shran has orders to trick Archer and yet he wants and tries to help Archer as much as he can in the limits of his orders. Archer obviously distrusts Shran and is expecting to get tricked and yet... it's nice to meet friends from home.

    We can see some change in Trip in this episode. In the beginning he was all "son of a bitch!" and "death to all Xindi!", now he's more peaceful... focusing on other things in his life, becoming less destructive. Doctor's medicine might be working miracles on Trip, but does it have a similar positive effect on T'Pol? There's some love-like feeling towards Trip as we saw in Similitude, but she doesn't seem to be that inspired by it as Trip does. I don't know, perhaps as an Archer/T'Pol shipper I'm just looking for any sign that proves that this is doomed from the start.

    In my mid-season impressions I said that Malcolm has spent his time in season 3 just running and shooting at things, kinda devolving into an extra. Well here's another funny thing. I'd say season 2 was quite generous to Malcolm. But season 2 had this repeating cliche that whenever there was an alien woman on board, Malcolm would end up either flirting or sleeping with her. Same here, Malcolm spends most of his time flirting with that cute andorian. I say, it's pretty much the same thing as Archer getting thrown into jail all the time. I'm afraid Malcolm is turning into a Voyager character, doomed to repeat the same things as character moments over and over again.

    So this is the followup to Shipment. Yeah, I guess we're starting to go somewhere here.
     
  2. Jimmy Bob

    Jimmy Bob Commander Red Shirt

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    :luvlove:Stratagem:luvlove:

    And I fell to my knees and I worshipped. Mike Sussman has been nothing but awesome throughout season 3. Anomaly, Twilight and now this. Stratagem I think is the most awesome one of these three.

    It's just pure fucking ingenious brilliant episode. It starts out as an another possible Twilight. Still interesting. But then.. my god, it's all a plot to trick Degra. It wouldn't be as interesting if it was just a linear tale of how Archer tricked Degra. It's brilliant because it's so non-linear, pieces coming together kinda episode. And the performances are just brilliant.

    Whereas before I was just interested in season 3, now I'm emotionally invested. This marks a turning point for me personally with season 3. I can't wait to see what happens next.

    And we get some major insight into the Xindi as well. God this episode is like Anomaly improved. So good. This is the inspired touch I was waiting for. Expanding the overall storyline with an inspired episode itself. If this continues then season 3 will be one big entity of awesomeness.
     
  3. Guardian Bob

    Guardian Bob Lieutenant Commander Red Shirt

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    Stratagem was an awesome episode to watch. Its the Enterprise version of a hologram, but it works so well. I love politics/espionage, and they really achieved a good sense of that in this episode.
     
  4. commodore64

    commodore64 Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Agreed on Stratagem. Excellent show, fun to watch, hard to guess what was going to happen next -- though you knew it would all come out okay in the end. Season 3 continues to get better ... oh except for the next few episodes, but it picks up for Azati Prime. By the end of season 3, I was sad it was all over. Especially I was sad because season 4, which promised so much, delivered so little.

    I think that's an excellent assessment. Keep watching.

    Doomed from the start? I don't know. As an Archer/T'Pol shipper myself, I'll tell you what I think is important: no phoney baloney, poorly constructed romance that makes no sense and that's so bad you just wished they'd never bothered to go down that path. I don't think that happened with them. With Archer/T'Pol, they'll always act like themselves, rather than make decisions that you know the characters wouldn't make. I think it relies on people who care about each other and have built a solid, steadfast friendship where they'd risk their lives for each other, including their reputation. To me, that kind of feeling shared between a man and a woman, where they're willing to risk it all for each other, *is* love.

    Keep watching. It'll be interesting at the end of season 3 where you land. I can say this without any fear of spoilers: it'll be in the eye of the beholder.
     
  5. HopefulRomantic

    HopefulRomantic hyperpolypyroferricist redux Moderator

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    ^^ Ahem. commie, you might want to hold back on the big honkin' one-sided spoilers for future episodes, which may hopelessly taint the First Time Viewer's first-time viewing. Why not give him a chance to make up his own mind.

    I had a good time with "Proving Ground." Jeff Combs can do no wrong, IMHO. "The Andorian Mining Consortium runs from no one!" :lol: And I agree, "Stratagem" was terrific stuff, especially the way it showed different aspects of Degra.
     
  6. Jimmy Bob

    Jimmy Bob Commander Red Shirt

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    Harbinger
    :guffaw:

    I love it. Such a cute and funny episode. And it felt more like a chapter in a story than an episode. This was quite needed. A more crewish perspective.

    Malcolm and Hayes... just golden. Those fight scenes really rocked. The Xindi already hinted at this that Malcolm is going to have a problem with these military guys and I was kinda dissapointed that the MACO's were somewhat mostly forgotten or not focused anymore. But this.. this makes up for it. This also makes up for Malcolm being reduced into an extra who runs a lot and shoots things.

    I said in my mid-season impressions a thing: "Hoshi got her annual spotlight moment, but... I would have really liked if instead of just giving other characters an episode, they'd also have a journey throughout the year. Because Hoshi's episode felt too separate from the Xindi storyline. The 80's rock opera atmosphere didn't help either. So now what? Hoshi's lonely? Back to the extra bench for her, eh? That's it? Why not give her (and others) their own journey's?"

    Well, Malcolm got that... true it's also a single episode like Exile, but the way Harbinger is done, like a middle chapter, pretty much creates the effect that it was a journey for Malcolm to get into fight with Hayes. That he wasn't just an extra in this year, that he also had stuff to do.

    And then Trip and T'Pol. Oh that Amanda chick was just beautiful. All those jealous antics were just very cute and the dialogue leading to the sex scene was funny.

    But there seems to be a more serious side also to it. :confused: I get a certain Buffy 6th season vibe from T'Pol. As in, I think Trip is getting a bit mistreated by T'Pol. I don't know what is it, but T'Pol's seems to be a bit... unbalanced. There seems to be other factors playing into this. A need for comfort or stability or something like that. And of course I just might be imagining things.

    But I'm glad that my day one impression was right. It was T'Pol's intention all along to explore human sexuality. :)

    Also I said that Phlox doesn't have a journey, but he seems to be very integral to the season 3 story nonetheless for some reason. Now I think there is some journey for him too. I noticed that Phlox had issues with Archer going all brutal on that alien guy. The things he has had in this season to do have not been easy.

    Speaking of the alien guy. That definitely seemed to imply that the artificial nature of the Expanse plays a role in this story. That there is someone behind the Xindi. And considering all the hints we've got with them religious extremists and this episode, I'd say this guy is one of those guys who built the spheres and they are behind the earth attack. The Xindi are merely spawns. Right?

    This was great fun. More!
     
  7. Dane_Whitman

    Dane_Whitman Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    Glad you're enjoying season 3, Jimmy Bob. The next two episodes are a bit rough, but some of the greatest episodes of Star Trek: Enterprise are just ahead.
     
  8. HopefulRomantic

    HopefulRomantic hyperpolypyroferricist redux Moderator

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    Great "Harbinger" review, Jimmy Bob. :techman:
     
  9. DevilEyes

    DevilEyes Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    The most interesting thing for me in the episode was how the treatment of the shapeshifters by the humanoid hunters justified/illustrated the Founders' claims about their treatment by the solids. Even though this was a different shapeshifting species, it is likely that this kind of humanoid attitude towards shapeshifters was not uncommon throughout the galaxy. Fortunately for Archer's crew and the Alpha Quadrant, members of the species from the Rogue Planet were less inclined to regard all solids as their enemies because of the few that were hunting them.
     
  10. commodore64

    commodore64 Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Harbinger made me feel that way, too.

    I didn't think much of the episode mostly for that reason and the fact the characters don't seem like themselves.
     
  11. Jimmy Bob

    Jimmy Bob Commander Red Shirt

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    Doctor's Orders

    This wasn't as exciting anymore like the previous two. When the show was about to get a storyline in chapters feel to it, then comes something completely episodic. There is that slight disconnected feel to it.

    I remember Voyager had a similar hallucinogenic episode. Personally I love hallucinogenic episodes, I even loved The Fight because it's like perfect for watching when you're stoned.

    So I liked it. It doesn't seem to contribute anything meaningful to the overall storyline and it seems like the series is stalling again. But I loved watching the hallucinogenic adventures of Porthos and Phlox. Porthos probably hasn't got this much screentime ever before. Doctor getting more and more crazier and some of the angles were just crazy.

    Also the twist got me.

    + Phlox's antics
    + Porthos getting his most screentime ever
    - Not really that interesting when the on-going storyline is much more interesting
     
  12. Jimmy Bob

    Jimmy Bob Commander Red Shirt

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    Hatchery

    Now this is the episode that caused me to pause with my watching and impression posting. It's because I tried to make sense of it. Try to think what I could write about it. But... I just don't have anything to say.
     
  13. Jimmy Bob

    Jimmy Bob Commander Red Shirt

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    Okay so I watched three episodes in one sitting. With the way how Azati Prime ended there was no way I was going to wait. The only reason why I didn't watch all 7 was because I need some sleep time. So it's going to be a bit different this time.

    Azati Prime

    So there is a transdimensional conspiracy. Was that a 26th century starship? Looked cool.

    Okay, do you think that perhaps the reason why Archer was so stubborn and insisted on going on a suicide mission was because he wanted to go out with a heroic death so he wouldn't have to deal with the things he has done in this season? This is a guy who once upon a time went down a planet with his dog and made pictures and was all happy. This is a guy who wanted to just play baseball... well water polo and drink beer with all the aliens of the universe. This is a guy who wanted to make everyone happy and introduce his backwards planet as the wisest tourism choice to make. I'm pretty sure Archer is a sort of guy who probably went "Oh and Earth's women. Beautiful."

    So he is really tormented. That choice to blow up that moonbase was more than he could take after Sim and other things. So he figures he is going to save the world and die. He has accomplished his mission and he doesn't have to live anymore. He'll just have to hold himself together just for the final heroic oblivion that would save the world and then it will all end. Peace.

    But Archer doesn't get his heroic death. He gets imprisoned and beaten. So he has to resort to the plan that Daniels recommended him. But now his ship is under attack and people died. Was it his stubborness to die out in heroic gunblazing that cost those lives? Archer isn't a sort of captain that just shrugs of crew death. His wish for heroic death ended up for him going to even darker places.

    Damage


    Archer didn't save the world nor die. The things he had to do so far are like cuddly rainbow bear songs in comparison. This is so wrong what he has to do in this episode. And yet right.

    I'm reminded of a conversation from Anomaly: "When we entered this expanse, we were no different than you. Two merchant ships looking for trade routes. Then the first distortion hit us. We decided to return home, but the perimeter, the thermal barric clouds - they let you in, but they don't let you out. One of our ships was destroyed trying. Ater a few more encounters with the anomalies it wasn't long before we came predators . This section of the expanse proved to be ideal for hunting. When the ship runs the ground due to spacial distortions, it becomes an easy target. Our captain told us we wouldn't harm anyone. And we didn't. Not at first. It takes time to kill without remorse. You're not prepared to kill, or torture. Not yet."

    And it happened. Archer meets peaceful explorers. Archer's going to ruin their lives. Granted he tries to make the best of this situation... but well, tell that to those aliens who are now stranded in the expanse for 3 years. In a way this is subverting a common Trekkian trope. Usually it's the aliens that are always this desperate, but this time the alien captain is like a prestigous starfleet captain, and usually when aliens have been so desperate to attack a starfleet ship they usually die and then Picard or Janeway end the episode with a meaningful concluding philosophical statement with Number One being slightly puzzled.

    But this time... Archer's attempt at heroic death ended up for him descending even lower.

    And T'Pol. I thought I got some Buffy 6th season vibe from her. This desire for emotions goes back to that seedy Francisco jazz bar "sinful christian woman" scene. She has had this desire to dabble in emotions, and with Impulse and her going all "fuck my career" with the High Command and Archer, her closest friend growing more disconnected with each day, she did what many of us would have done in a dim hopeless situation like that. A moment of bliss where the dark is no more. But dark was always there waiting. So she did use and mistreat Trip. There are some affectionate feelings obviously... but it's kinda similar how Buffy mistreated Spike in 6th season. It isn't the most healthiest relationships, though there is a chance for them to be expressing genuine love for each other in the future, in some way or another, if they make choices to come out from their individual dark zones.

    Forgotten


    Trip's descending back to that raw pain and hatred from Expanse and Xindi. For a while there that thing with T'Pol comforted him, but after she went all "it was just sex, don't get clingy" and the recent catastrophic battle... with all those deaths and a chance that now they have to work together with their enemies, it's coming back.

    Archer's discovering that he can relate to Degra. Degra is also tormented by his choices that he had to do because he had no choice. And Degra's not the real enemy anyway. That disgust that Archer expressed in Stratagem and Azati Prime has now been replaced with a resentful relating. They're not that different from each other. Just men who want to save their worlds and don't like killing.

    So now he has an ally. We're going to that subspace secret corridor now. See you on the other side.

    Okay, since I just came from these episodes I probably missed a lot of wonderful nuances and small touches to write about. So please share everything that made these episodes great in your opinion. And your take on these events and characters.
     
    Last edited: Nov 24, 2009
  14. commodore64

    commodore64 Vice Admiral Admiral

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    I think they definitely make that case. In the same episode, Mayweather raises pretty much that very question, asking Archer if it's penance. Archer dismisses it, but ... I believe he is somewhat thinking that. I also think he truly believes the only way for this to come to pass is to do something drastic like this. After all in The Expanse, he tells Trip who asks if they're going to pussyfoot around like T'Pol does, that "we'll do whatever it takes." In this episode, I think he believes this is as low as he can sink. Little does he know in Damage he can sink lower.

    Damage was a good episode, but mostly because it shows our two main characters at their very lowest point. T'Pol has turned into a drug addict who has used people to serve her need for emotions (which by the way is invalid thanks to Impulse). Archer has turned into the very pirate he berated at the beginning of the season. Oh the humanity!

    The Forgotten ... I liked Archer and Degra coming to some friendship. I thought, though, Trip's grief was too late. He's been "suffering" since the end of season 2 -- enough that characters comment nearly once every episode in the season. And yet it takes almost a year for him to implode? I found that to be ... false. Would someone in real life wait for almost a year before really imploding? It's possible. Is it interesting dramatically, in a series, to see someone have a delayed break down? No. Strike while the iron is hot. I would've much more enjoyed Trip turning into an angry guy right off the bat. I probably would've found the character had grown more too. I also thought his break down was silly, over the top. Less is more. I don't like when Archer yells because it's over the top. I don't like when Trip bawls. It's pretty much just that easy.

    I also don't like the association that Phlox makes to T'Pol's drug use and Trip. He makes the link not indirect, but direct. In other words, he accuses T'Pol of taking drugs because of Trip. 1) I don't think T'Pol would. 2) I don't think Trip would let her.

    From here on out, you are in for a treat. I think there are a few silly scenes, but ... overall, good stuff.
     
  15. Jimmy Bob

    Jimmy Bob Commander Red Shirt

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    E2

    Oh... how contrived. It's not bad really, but yeah... meeting their own descendants just at the moment when they are going to an important council meeting... it's a bit too high-concept episode to follow the previous "descending to new moral lows" episodes.

    Lorian is somewhat likeable and I like how he bears Archer's burden as obsessively as Archer, ending up pirating Enterprise. Despite being Trip's son he's like a mirror image of Archer.

    It's not bad, some of the scenes are kinda cute and funny - like when Malcolm discovers that he ends up as an eternal bachelor and Trip's fatherhood moments and other things like that.

    I guess for Trip that letter writing scene in Forgotten counts as coming out from that dark zone, because he was all happy and healthy while T'Pol was all train wreck.

    Damn that T'Pol ages badly. It's like me uncle Bobby Bob always said: "Always check out the girls mother before you start doing anything stupid... because that's how she'll end up." Jolene as old T'Pol was more like a parody.

    I don't know. So did Lorian never exist? Interesting to know. But Degra's story is far more interesting.
     
  16. Mach5

    Mach5 Admiral Admiral

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    Hehe, that's exactly why I never liked that guy. He didn't feel like Trip's son at all! I guess it was only natural for him to seek a father figure in Archer, after his father died on him while he was still a 14 year old boy, but I can't shake the feeling that T'Pol was in fact a bad mother.

    That's my reason #2 for not being in love with this episode. The age makeup was terrible, so was Jolene's performance. She looked / sounded like she was about to kick the bucket any second. At age 182, she should have looked much younger (like a 65 year old human, give or take a few years).

    According to all of that quantum mechanics mumbo jumbo that's been really popular lately, he most certainly did exist.
     
  17. Guardian Bob

    Guardian Bob Lieutenant Commander Red Shirt

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    I loved how the Xindi always knew there was another Earth Starship in the expanse, and it turned out to be the other Enterprise.
     
  18. HopefulRomantic

    HopefulRomantic hyperpolypyroferricist redux Moderator

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    Do you mean, was he trying to escape the consequences of his actions, or go out in a blaze of glory? I think that would be out of character for him; he had very strong morals, and I don't think he thought of himself as a hero.

    I think it was more what Travis suggested -- penance, paying for his moral transgressions with his life. And he didn't want to order one of his crewmen on a suicide mission.

    I agree. This was a compelling episode for me, watching Archer sell his soul bit by bit, because he had no other choice. "I must complete this mission," he says over and over during the season. It's his justification, but you can see him hating himself more and more because of what he is forced to do. I've always thought of him as an explorer rather than a military man, and it was at once admirable and poignant to watch his journey.

    This was another great character study, full of conflict. Watching Trip go through his own hell, and finally experience the grief he had denied himself for so long, was beautifully done, I thought. And I really liked the way Degra was fleshed out, and how Archer and Degra are slowly, painstakingly establishing trust for one another.

    "E2" is one of my favorite episodes. Lorian made sense to me -- he lost his father as a child, and no doubt Archer filled that role for many decades after. The parallels between Archer and Lorian -- both doing the wrong thing for the right reasons, both hell-bent on completing the mission. Lorian's inner turmoil, which is hinted at in his testy argument with his mother, and finally comes bubbling to the surface in the brig scene, and his eventual redemption, was great stuff for me.

    I also liked all the "what ifs" presented in the episode. What if solitary, lonely Archer had a wife and family? Under what circumstances would T'Pol accept Trip's feelings (and her own)? What would their child be like? How did Phlox and Amanda (Cole, I assume) get together?... ;)
     
  19. Jimmy Bob

    Jimmy Bob Commander Red Shirt

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    I meant that he has all this guilt, so he might prefer to save the world in a way that would kill him rather than save the world in the way that would end up with his survival and rest of life with all that guilt.
     
  20. Jimmy Bob

    Jimmy Bob Commander Red Shirt

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    Council

    Degra died. :( After Shran he became one of my most favorite recurring characters.

    I like how involved the Sphere-builders are in the Xindi society. They are the source of current-day Xindi national, cultural and religious identity. And it was the manipulations on national pride that got those 7 million people killed. Later the reptilians got their own manipulation on national pride - to which they succumbed and went all "we're taking control". I liked the almost religious undertone to Degra's temptation scene. You see, the sphere-builder's is like the government who gives you your cultural, religious, national and political identity and says that's who you really are and then manipulates on those keys to make you do bad stuff.... Oh you think I'm crazy!? No, I'm not crazy. The Big Brother is out there and he seeks to control you. :eek: We need more brave thinkers like Degra who liberate themselves from the imprisoning collective with their own minds. The collective will force you to do evil things. Kinda. :p

    So if we cut all that crazy paranoid conspiracy theory talk, I guess what I'm trying to say is that Degra, who began the season as a nameless device for plot exposition, evolved into a respectable thinking man who rose above the mere ignorant assumptions of his people - and payed for it with his life.

    :salute:

    Your Gods lied to you!!!

    I'm just a bit too much in the crazy mode. Sorry.

    I didn't quite catch what they were doing inside the sphere and that random death and Malcolm's lament felt a bit too contrived. But then it all went to hell. So I'm going to follow them into hell and find out what happened to Hoshi. Probably a good thing for her because she has kinda devolved onto that Travis level.