Intentions behind Archer?

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

  1. Timo

    Timo Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    ...On the other hand, would it have been plausible for Earth's first-ever deep space starship captain to know his shit from the get-go? Or to learn it in anything shorter than two years?

    What we got may not count as a dramatically satisfactory character arc or origins story. But it does smack of realism.

    Timo Saloniemi
     
  2. FederationHistorian

    FederationHistorian Captain Captain

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    Well, there is evidence that you did engage in torture, or what was called "enhanced interrogation techniques" 150 years earlier. While there may not have been a Geneva Conventions in space at that time, the ethics surrounding it were still wrong. Which is why the comparisons with that particular president come up. Although to be fair, the first half of the 2150s is littered with examples comparable to the first several years of the 2000s; everything from the Babel crisis to Terra Prime crisis equal to the 2010s.

    Wow, there were a lot of crises back then.

    Archer still rationalized that decision. And we aren’t sure if Archer left enough food and trellium-D for a three-year journey. Simply being raided by the Ossarians put Enterprise at risk of being inoperable within a month.
     
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  3. Oddish

    Oddish Rear Admiral Commodore

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    I agree; the problem was where to put that scene. Remember that Archer wasn't even there until the last act. Archer did, in his defense, state his concern that the cogenitor was being discussed like an "inanimate object", and remind the Vissians that Charles was as intelligent as they were. He obviously had grave concerns of his own, despite T'Pol's reassurance that returning her was the right decision. And when Trip said he wasn't responsible, I think he knew otherwise.
     
  4. JaxsBrokenHeart

    JaxsBrokenHeart Lieutenant Commander Red Shirt

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    There is some validity to that, but I do think it would have been better illustrated if there had been more significant in universe consequences of the result of what Archer has done.

    I mean, just word of his decision with the Valakians getting back to Starfleet and causing controversy there (and maybe with the Denobulans as well given Phlox's involvement)? Or Archer perhaps losing command of the Enterprise for a bit after the Andorian Incident rather than just the silliness of Shadow's of P'Jem ? That would have been ripe for story potential and allowed the topics to be further explored if there was no interest in doing so with Archer's character specially.

    Like for example, I don't think Desert Crossing is all that an impressive an episode, but I will give it credit for following up the events of Detained and allow the fallout of his decision there to result in aftershocks when it came to character motivations.

    (Granted, Archer's major reflection on it is to think about how his move to help Suliban prisoners have now put him in a bad situation, but given this was him circa season 1, that he didn't start ranting about how this was somehow the Vulcan's fault actually makes it one of his more thoughtful moments given his characterization at the time.)
     
  5. Charles Phipps

    Charles Phipps Commodore Commodore

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    I suspect that fans were expecting Archer to screw up and have problems in a way that, say, Kirk or Picard (or even Janeway) didn't. However, I suspect most fans expected Archer's screw ups to be primarily due to caring TOO much. If he broke the non-existent Prime Directive and interfered to bad results then it would be because he was trying to do the best thing. Very often Archer instead acted callous, suspicious, and motivated by his dislike of Vulcans.

    Aiding the Andorians is supposed to be his triumphant moment of moral integrity but he betrayed his planet's allies to help people who had kidnapped his crew. All to help them find a listening post that might actually have been there for a good reason. Which, given his vocal hate of Vulcans, makes him look like he's acting out of prejudice.

    Mind you, I have the not terribly satisfying headcanon that Archer was a jerkass until he had Surak's katra and the legendary hero/explorer that founded the Federation is actually do to merging with the Vulcan leader.
     
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  6. Phoenix219

    Phoenix219 Commodore Commodore

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    Or does he just change when SAM leaps in? :D :D
     
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  7. dupersuper

    dupersuper Commodore Commodore

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  8. oldtrekkie

    oldtrekkie Captain Red Shirt

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    My reaction after watching "A Night In Sickbay"...
     
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  9. Oddish

    Oddish Rear Admiral Commodore

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    It's like "Lower Decks" before there was "Lower Decks". Or at least back when "Lower Decks" was a TNG episode with a downer ending.
     
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  10. oldtrekkie

    oldtrekkie Captain Red Shirt

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    Why? Why did they have to kill Sito?
     
  11. Oddish

    Oddish Rear Admiral Commodore

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    To remind us that redshirts (which Sito essentially was) are people too. Only took ten years of Trek to get around to it...
     
  12. oldtrekkie

    oldtrekkie Captain Red Shirt

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    She was the only one in that bunch that I liked!
     
  13. dupersuper

    dupersuper Commodore Commodore

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    I'm confused by your math. Star Trek had been on nearly 30 years by the time that episode aired, TNG less than 7. Where'd 10 come from?
     
  14. Oddish

    Oddish Rear Admiral Commodore

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    3 years of TOS.
    7 years (6-1/2 actually) of TNG.
     
  15. JaxsBrokenHeart

    JaxsBrokenHeart Lieutenant Commander Red Shirt

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    I think in some ways the consistent pattern of trying to make Archer look right in his decisions regardless of circumstances or audience opinion is an outgrowth of issues that already existed with Janeway on Voyager.

    She too was characterized as almost always being mortally correct, even though the writing wasn't always solid enough to execute that (or even keep her consistent in her ethics). The key difference was that the stories typically didn't have the consequences of such be too disastrous most of the time (arguments about destroying the Caretaker's array aside) and that Mulgrew was able to imbue the character with a strong personality so that you could at least respect Janeway for the most part.

    Bakula wasn't as lucky and while I do believe he did the very best he could, his strengths as an actor were never in being a major authority figure. He inhabited the role of the everyman extremely well and Quantum Leap demonstrated his range to a degree, to the point where he could exude charm and charisma when he had to. It's just that the role of a Captain almost requires a certain type of gravitas and presence, and I think Bakula was only going to pull that role off if the writing could elevate him, and it rarely did (at least early on).

    I don't know if Archer season 4 was the ideal picture of a firm commanding officer, but the quieter and less over the top version of him was at least more natural for the actor involved and allowed him to come off as the kind of captain that could be effective in the right circumstances.
     
    Last edited: Sep 18, 2021
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  16. oldtrekkie

    oldtrekkie Captain Red Shirt

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    She violated just about every principle she purported to enforce in the rest of the series when she decided to ally herself with the borg. She provided them with a weapon of mass destruction which had a decisive role in a conflict. When she screws up Starfleet edicts she doesn't do it halfway! When she later demoted Tom Paris for his attempt and sent him to the brig for a month, by the same token she should have demoted herself to able crewman and ten years in the brig.
     
  17. Oddish

    Oddish Rear Admiral Commodore

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    Should Tuvok have flogged her as well?

    Sorry, couldn't resist. :hugegrin:
     
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  18. oldtrekkie

    oldtrekkie Captain Red Shirt

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    Some of her decisions are just downright offensive.
     
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  19. Oddish

    Oddish Rear Admiral Commodore

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    Which ones do you think were the worst?
     
  20. oldtrekkie

    oldtrekkie Captain Red Shirt

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    Many were pretty awful like when she decided to kill Tuvix for example, there was no urgency, she could have instructed the doctor and Kim or Torres to try to find a way to save the three of them, instead, she went right to killing Tuvix without a second thought. When she decided that if she was "guilty" of thoughtcrime she would let the telepaths scramble B'elanna's brain... Given that she had already given weapons of mass destruction to the borg this would have been only a slight violation of the prime directive that would have helped her chief engineer to keep her brain intact. Talk about shooting yourself in the foot for no reason!