Intentions behind Archer?

Discussion in 'Star Trek: Enterprise' started by suarezguy, Aug 31, 2021.

  1. FederationHistorian

    FederationHistorian Captain Captain

    Joined:
    Feb 6, 2020
    Taking a risk of being dismissed from Starfleet and ending up in prison just to restart the NX program? It’s alluded to as much in “First Flight”. Restarting the NX program is different from disobeying orders from mission control and causing the NX program to be put on hold indefinitely. It certainly does not reflect badly on Archer.

    Looking at the ENT bible, there were some definite missed opportunities to flesh out the various relationship dynamics in ENT (namely Trip-Mayweather, Reed-Mayweather, Archer-T'Pol-Mayweather, and T’Pol-Hoshi) and histories, while simultaneously maintaining the focus on the trinity of Archer-T’Pol-Trip at the same time. The series should have referred its bible to get some ideas to further flesh out characters and their histories and various subplots. While other series benefitted from not following their bible, Enterprise was not one of them.

    That Trip was originally supposed to be ranked lieutenant, and there was a perfect opportunity in “Cogenitor” to follow through on this idea, only for Archer’s response basically boiling down to “I’m angry and disappointed. Dismissed.” No serious punishment beyond that. I wonder if witnessing A.G. not being demoted for causing the NX program to be put on hold indefinitely influenced Archer to not demote Trip for something that would probably be considered worthy of demotion with any other captain? Or if the protocol at the time was simply to boot troublesome individuals out of Starfleet and there was nothing Archer could do at the time since he was millions of miles away from Earth and still needed Trip. And then the Xindi attacked Earth, and he needed everyone wiling to participate. But that he did not even bother to consider promoting Reed to be his second officer at that moment is kind of worrisome. Archer's era is definitely more lax than Kirk's era.
     
  2. oldtrekkie

    oldtrekkie Captain Red Shirt

    Joined:
    Jul 3, 2021
    The more Archer we see in an episode the more likely it will suck. The case in point is "A Night In Sickbay" where Archer is in almost every scene (if not every one of them).
     
  3. Timo

    Timo Fleet Admiral Admiral

    Joined:
    Aug 26, 2003
    ...My absolute favorite episode!

    Timo Saloniemi
     
  4. oldtrekkie

    oldtrekkie Captain Red Shirt

    Joined:
    Jul 3, 2021
    Is that sarcasm?
     
  5. Timo

    Timo Fleet Admiral Admiral

    Joined:
    Aug 26, 2003
    What? No, I think ENT was at its best when doing mood pieces. The action-adventures were sort of ho-hum, an outdated format of storytelling now that Trek had been there, done that all and was ready to step, if not into the naughties, then at least into the nineties of television entertainment conventions.

    Out of all the characters in ENT, Archer ends up being the best explored and IMHO the most likeable. That this might be because the rest of the team is so incredibly poorly handled is another issue altogether. Bakula may not have been properly told what to make of his character, but at least he made something out of it. (Trinneer, too, but the direction on his character was even more aimless initially, and became a bit silly with the S3 plot twists.)

    Timo Saloniemi
     
    ScaryKittenRomantic likes this.
  6. Charles Phipps

    Charles Phipps Commodore Commodore

    Joined:
    Sep 17, 2011
    As much as I feel Archer was inconsistently portrayed and a bigot to Vulcans, even I would have felt it would be wildly out of character to demote Trip for being nice to a breeding slave.
     
  7. FederationHistorian

    FederationHistorian Captain Captain

    Joined:
    Feb 6, 2020
    After Trip was advised not to interfere in the personal lives of the Vissians by both the first officer and chief medical officer, and the breeding slave ending up taking her own life. Which did not just ruin a first contact situation, but one that was with a technologically advanced species; Archer and the rest of the crew were lucky that they were peaceful and generally benevolent.

    It’s the kind of situation that validates the Vulcan position that Earth’s deep space mission should have been cancelled the prior season.
     
  8. Charles Phipps

    Charles Phipps Commodore Commodore

    Joined:
    Sep 17, 2011
    I mean, are we actually assuming that if the Republic of Gilead and Federation met we should just dismiss the oppression of women as "their culture?" Archer acted very unlike future Startfleet Captains by not granting asylum.

    Realpolitic is hardly consistent with the values of the setting.
     
    nightwind1 likes this.
  9. JaxsBrokenHeart

    JaxsBrokenHeart Lieutenant Commander Red Shirt

    Joined:
    May 20, 2011
    Given Archer helped give away secrets of the Vulcans to the Andorians he would hardly be in a position to judge Trip on endangering relationships with key allies anyway.
     
    Charles Phipps likes this.
  10. oldtrekkie

    oldtrekkie Captain Red Shirt

    Joined:
    Jul 3, 2021
    Archer schmoozing with slavers doesn't sit well with me.
     
    dupersuper likes this.
  11. FederationHistorian

    FederationHistorian Captain Captain

    Joined:
    Feb 6, 2020
    “My compassion guides my judgement” – Archer

    Archer schmoozing with slavers was likely for their tech. And since the Vulcans weren’t sharing theirs with Earth, Archer might have thought the Vissians would. The Vissians likely did share photon torpedo tech with them, which ended up coming in handy during the Xindi crisis, Augment crisis and Babel crisis. As well as in ending the Temporal Cold War.

    Archer’s idea of a Prime Directive is very loose and undefined. On one hand, he’s okay not giving the Valakians a cure - or for that matter warp technology - on the basis of Phlox’s faulty understanding of evolution. On the other, he neglects a plea for asylum to not upset the Vissians while they share technology with him. And in dire situations, he is comfortable being a pirate and stealing technology from other species while leaving them food and supplied while they are stranded. All while he has stood up to pirates in the past.
     
  12. oldtrekkie

    oldtrekkie Captain Red Shirt

    Joined:
    Jul 3, 2021
    Yes, and he quickly became chum with the Andorians, when his very first contact with them was with their fists. One would think an inhabitant of a warless civilized Earth would resent that kind of behavior.
     
    Alice_27 likes this.
  13. Jack Wolfe

    Jack Wolfe Commander Red Shirt

    I recall Archer being a complete shmuck in Season 2. Since I bailed before the end of that season, I can only hope he pulled his head out of his ass for the rest of the run. And no, I'm not going to watch for myself. The show sucked, and I've no interest in suffering through what I have actively avoided all these years.
     
  14. FederationHistorian

    FederationHistorian Captain Captain

    Joined:
    Feb 6, 2020
    Considering he got into bar fights with his friends before becoming captain, being punched by an Andorian was probably something he did not take personally. Especially once it was revealed that humans weren’t the only ones that Vulcans kept secrets from. With that being said, if anything, it makes more sense for Reed to be friends with the Andorians than Archer, given Reed’s background. Trip and Hoshi should also be friends with the Andorians if the basis is on dislike of the Vulcans, based off of S1.

    If Archer really sides with those that are against the Vulcans, then he should have no problem being friends with Tellarites as well. Although there is the issue that one of the Tellarites might snack on Porthos…
     
  15. Admiral Archer

    Admiral Archer Captain Captain

    Joined:
    Dec 28, 2009
    Feel like I need to chime in, since this is about me (er, my younger days as Captain of the NX-01). Now, where were we? Ah yes. So to comment on the George W. Bush comparison, I'd like to think humanity has evolved as a species since the time of that particular president, as we no longer wage wars due to vengeance or some other self-destructive tendency. Oh, you say I did JUST THAT when my ship went after the Xindi? Well, that's totally different! They were planning on destroying the Earth, and I don't care how many people say we were fighting over Dilithium ore, it was a noble cause!

    ...now where the hell is Porthos? Seriously I'm beginning to think that young Scottish engineer may have something to do with the disappearance of my prized beagle. He better not have used poor Porthos in any of those damn transporter tests!
     
    nightwind1 likes this.
  16. Oddish

    Oddish Rear Admiral Commodore

    Joined:
    Sep 7, 2020
    It's pretty good if you've had a few beers. I mean, rogue bats, doggy funerals, dreadlocks, chainsaws, and science officers suddenly losing their clothes...

    And forgiving, very likely. Those photon... oops, excuse me, photonic torpedoes had to come from somewhere.

    It took some time for him to realize that was what they were. Remember the "gasping kid" scene in the pilot. Just as good parenting can look bad to the uneducated, a toxic culture might not seem so at first.

    Out of curiosity, do you think Archer should have let Charles the cogenitor have asylum?
     
    oldtrekkie and Timo like this.
  17. Timo

    Timo Fleet Admiral Admiral

    Joined:
    Aug 26, 2003
    For the sake of consistency, perhaps. Archer launched into his mission by defying advice on alien cultures and ways while aware that the defiance would make Earth-alien relations go sour. Letting Klaang live and letting Charles go free would be equal acts, leading to the "rescued" party suffer through an abnormal and hurtful remainder of a life by the standards of his own culture, and said culture being disappointed with Earthling ways. And the early adventures would not have disabused Archer of the idea that spreading Earth values is a good thing and indeed his primary mission.

    But when Archer launched into that mission, he knew squat. Even if there is no consistent pressure from the early adventures, he might have grown to doubt his initial motivations and instructions, perhaps flying through the first seasons on bang-bang controls just to test his convictions and see where it led him and Earth. Err on the side of caution here, of outrage there, see if the world comes to an end.

    Or then what makes the difference is the growing distance from Earth and safety. No Vulcan cruisers that far out to save Archer from Vissian wrath.

    Timo Saloniemi
     
  18. ScaryKittenRomantic

    ScaryKittenRomantic boo! mew! Moderator

    Joined:
    Aug 18, 2004
    Location:
    Hopeful Romantic - carving jack-o-lanterns
    IMHO, Archer did not seem at all comfortable stealing that warp coil. I'm remembering the scene in his quarters with Phlox. Also, pirates are not known for leaving their victims food and supplies. Archer gave them a significant supply of Trellium, which was critical for a ship's protection at that time, and therefore quite valuable.

    That was Trip in the scene with the gasping kid.
     
  19. oldtrekkie

    oldtrekkie Captain Red Shirt

    Joined:
    Jul 3, 2021
    Archer didn't hesitate to betray the Vulcans long-time allies of Earth causing a temple to be destroyed and he wouldn't give someone asylum because it may offend some people he knows nothing about except for the fact that when they are with him they are all smiles!!! Like Shakespeare wrote, "one may smile, and smile, and be a villain."
     
  20. JaxsBrokenHeart

    JaxsBrokenHeart Lieutenant Commander Red Shirt

    Joined:
    May 20, 2011
    As I've mentioned before, a lot of Archer's issues in the first two seasons come from a sense of the disconnect between what the writers were trying to do with him and how he comes across. It's not just a matter of disapproving with what he's done, because there's been various episodes fans have done that with Trek captains in the past.

    The more significant problem is that his thought process and how he came to these decisions were never felt deep or particularly reflective, at least to me. Even ignoring the bad science of Dear Doctor or the rather naive view of espionage in The Andorian Incident, Archer in the first half of the show rarely feels as thoughtful as he should be about the situations he's in and especially the consequences of his decisions.

    One note judgements about others and self-righteous (verging on petulant) defenses of his deeds seemed to be his two modes a lot of the time and the show suffered for it because it made him both less compelling and harder to really see as being credible in his role. Him throwing self-interested tantrums in A Night in Sickbay was probably the most triumphant example, but the sad thing is that that episode was simply the bad traits he already had turned up to 11.

    It's why I'll always defend Damage and regard it as a sign of the Captain we would eventually get circa season 4 because it's Archer genuinely being affected by the weight of the situation and having to think about what the results of what his decision will be. It's him finally looking inward to a significant degree and, in the case of that story, being unsettled by what he's seen. It's the kind of the thing that would have immensely helped his characterization early in the series.

    A scene in Congenitor where he quietly admits to Trip that he's immensely disturbed by what he's seen in the Vissian culture and that he had to stop himself from giving the title character asylum? That would have given that episode greater punch, and he could still make his point to Tucker that as officers they can't be emotionally compulsive in these kinds of diplomatic situations. Maybe even have Archer's hopeful note that perhaps better future contact with the Vissians might help change things within their society long term as something clearly isn't sure about himself.

    Basically, I didn't need to agree with him, but I did need a sign that he was capable of some self awareness as a starship Captain, and seldom seemed to get that before the Xindi arc.
     
    Last edited: Sep 17, 2021
    Boo-rennyren, dupersuper and Timo like this.