Overrated Or Underrated: ENTERPRISE Edition...

Discussion in 'Star Trek: Enterprise' started by Farscape One, Dec 12, 2019.

  1. Farscape One

    Farscape One Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    My appreciation to Prax for inspiring me when he created the same titled thread in the TNG forum.

    We all know there are episodes everyone loves, and those everyone hates. We all have episodes that some may feel they are the only ones who appreciate them. And sometimes, there are episodes that are both underrated AND overrated. This thread is about that.

    "TERRA NOVA" - While I do agree it is NOT a great episode, I don't think it deserves the hatred it seems to get. We get to see a brand new human culture, something rarely seen in the franchise at this point. I thought it was interesting because of how it could very well be a 'what if' scenario for us. An asteroid hits the planet hard, releases deadly radiation, and the survivors all have to live underground for generations. I've always thought of this episode in those terms, not as 'shale'. When looked at through this lens, we might get more appreciation of this episode. Underrated episode... but not overly so.

    "REGENERATION" - When it first about to air, and I saw the trailer for it, my immediaye reaction wad likely the same as most others... WTF are the Borg doing here? But I have to give Berman and Braga credit... this episode made the Borh scary again, something I didn't think was possible after how VOYAGER defanged them. My only real gripe is that Phlox was able to unassimilate himself... I'd have preferred this subplot didn't happen at all. I'm not entirely sure if this episode is overrated or underrated, but it definitely deserves some love.

    "DAEDALUS" - Don't throw tomatoes at me yet. I never really liked this episode, and I never really will. But it DID give us a look at how horrible the costs were to bring transporter technology into existence. This really gives weight to the arguments that Dr. McCoy and Dr. Pulaski had about the use of this device, and by extension all people who have deathly fears of other modes of travel, such as flying. And while it IS on the bottom end of quality for season 4, at least it isn't THE worst one in a season that was just gold. Side note: I don't think it's a coincidence that the two writers of this episode, Ken LaZebnik amd Alan Brennert, were out after this episode.

    How about the rest of you? Any thoughts? Your own episodes that you feel get too much love or not enough? Please share!
     
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  2. BillJ

    BillJ Canon Warrior Premium Member

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    Overrated: “Similitude”
    Underrated: “Impulse”
     
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  3. tomalak301

    tomalak301 Fleet Admiral Premium Member

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    I don't post in this forum very much so I don't know what the popular episodes are. I know in the past, I would say an underrated episode was Season 1's Vox Sola, mainly because the alien was really unique and it was like Devil in the Dark a little bit. In terms of overrated, Maybe one of the eugenic Brent Spiner episodes in season 4, lets say Borderland. It was a decent three parter, but not nearly as good as the Vulcan or Andorian arcs.
     
  4. sekundant

    sekundant Fleet Captain Premium Member

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    Great idea Prax, thank you Farscape One for the adaptation. I think, I'll come back often to this thread. :ouch:

    (Taking deep breath effect)

    A NIGHT IN SICKBAY: There is too many things, that I am not happy about the episode. Making first captain (who should have excellent diplomatic and scientific skills) a real ignorant jerk is only one of them. Stupid costumes, Porthos' automaton, cringey "erotic" scenes etc. just others. On the other had, I like generally the question, how would such a long term dangerous expedition has an impact to human psyche. We see, a captain is also a human who has common needs like any other crew member. He needs love, care, sex, someone who shares his loneliness. They don't have the comfort, luxury and privilege of TNG. It is also a good question what would that pioneers do with their personal issues like their weaknesses, self pitiness? Additionally, I like black humor of cemetery scene (It remembers me Malcolm's dream at Shuttlepod One). I can really understand, why people don't like the episode, but this side of episode is totally ignored and underrated, imho. Not to forget, Billingsley and Vaughn Armstrong factors..
     
    Last edited: Dec 13, 2019
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  5. Sakonna

    Sakonna Commodore Commodore

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    I gotta say... I think the whole Xindi arc is over-rated. It has some great parts, but there are just so many problems. The pacing is a mess. The ending is a deeply unsatisfying nonsense tangent. The Temporal Cold War & Klingon story integration is awkward. They bit off more than they could chew with the CGI Reptilians and Aquatics. They go way overboard with the outrageous properties of the Expanse. Reed is portrayed as such a pathetic, petty, small man in his feud with the MACO's that it assassinated his character for me -- I do not like Reed, and it's because of this season. The cutaways to the Sphere Builders are used in such a frustrating way that drains tension, instead of ratcheting it up. Also draining tension at a crucial moment is "E2", that episode should maybe not exist at all, but DEFINITELY not at that point of the arc (and I thought "Sons & Daughters" on DS9 was incompetently placed). "Hatchery" I find terrible, an infuriating missed opportunity -- you can see what an incredible episode that could have been, but as-aired it's fatally undermined by storytelling cheats. And that "Azati Prime" cliffhanger is so cheap and dramatically dishonest... ending with the ship in that completely doomed, inescapable situation, then just starting the following ep with "and then the attack just stopped!" So shoddy.

    Of course, it's not all bad, there are some episodes in the Xindi arc I think are spectacular -- "The Shipment", "Stratagem", and "Proving Ground" come to mind as high points. I think I may VERY NARROWLY enjoy the arc more than I dislike it, but JUST... my feelings are probably 51% positive, 49% negative.

    And as for Enterprise eps I think are under-rated... I actually really love "Carpenter Street", that one is fun as hell for me.

    (Outside the Xindi arc, but "Vox Sola" and "Regeneration" also jump to mind when I think of underrated ENT eps, but those have already gotten shout-outs...)

    I would also consider "Horizon" over-rated, in that I think it's absolutely among the worst Trek episodes ever made, and yet I never see anyone else trashing it. "Horizon" should be infamous! It truly belongs on that Worst Trek Ever list with "Threshold", "Code Of Honor", "TATV", "Profit & Lace", "Let He Who Is Without Sin", "Spock's Brain", "Favorite Son", "Precious Cargo", "Up The Long Ladder", "The Way To Eden"...
     
    Last edited: Dec 17, 2019
  6. Farscape One

    Farscape One Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    I haven't found anyone who DOES like "HORIZON". I never cared for it simply because it centered on Travis.

    I'm glad the character got some time to shine, but the actor was terrible. For me, the absolute bottom in terms of leads across the franchise. Garrett Wang is Emmy worthy compared to him.
     
  7. valkyrie013

    valkyrie013 Commodore Commodore

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    Don't know about over or under ratted but I like all the Dr phlox episodes, dear doctor, doctors orders (You want me to read the manuel!) Soimiltude is okay.
     
  8. Damian

    Damian Commodore Commodore

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    Agree. It reminded me of the Borg in "Q, Who" even, with a little of the creepiness from First Contact. And somehow they managed to thread the needle and avoid any continuity issues---and in a way managed to explain how some in the Federation might have been aware of the Borg before "Q, Who?". And this was one of the only times I recall prior to the 3rd season where Captain Archer actually ordered the destruction of another vessel. I really liked this episode because it brought the Borg back to their roots. It probably helped that Archer and co. had no idea who the Borg really were and the writers had to keep it vague to avoid contradicting canon.

    Yeah, I liked this episode as well. We Trekkies kind of take the transporter for granted. It's reasonable to think there were challenges in its creation and costs. And I couldn't help but feel for the doctor's obsession with finding his son and his anguish when he realizes he can't bring him back. Then he decides he can't let his son remain in limbo and brings him back so he can let him go. Love sometimes means letting someone go.

    I'm a big horror movie fan and I love watching this episode around Halloween. Perhaps it's a bit over the top but I loved the zombie Vulcans. Also the filming was a bit unique with some of the distorted shots, and the Vulcan ship was downright creepy. Dark, flashing lights, the distant sounds of asteroids hitting the ship (not to mention the bizarre asteroid field itself). Add to that you never knew when there was going to be a deadly hull breach. And even at the beginning when T'Pol starts to scream her mouth just seems unnaturally large. They did horror very well in this episode I thought.
     
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  9. DarthPipes

    DarthPipes Vice Admiral Admiral

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    I liked Daedalus too and I felt that got a bum rap when it first came out. I thought Bill Cobb was good in it too.
     
  10. Freshmeat

    Freshmeat Ensign Red Shirt

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    Underrated: Dead Stop and, to a lesser extent, Silent Enemy. I don’t see these two episodes mentioned a lot, but they’re simple and they work. Dead Stop in particular has a good story hook, neatly follows up from the previous episode and switches up the alien-of-the-week formula by making a repair station the main villain instead. One of the highlights of season 2 for me.

    Overrated: I’m not a huge fan of the Vulcan/Syrranite arc. The story seems contrived and changes direction too often. It’s a murder mystery, except the mystery is unraveled by the end of the first episode. Archer becomes Surak/Archer, except it’s used exclusively in service of a find-the-relic-to-solve-everything plot. Surak/Arev being unable to find the Kir’shara earlier simply because he was a Vulcan is a pretty lazy setup for making Archer the chosen one instead.

    The arc also feels its length. They easily could’ve cut some parts and turned it into a two-parter without really losing anything of importance. And overall, it looks like they were on a tight budget with this arc, at least insofar as set and costume design are concerned. I wouldn’t go so far as to call it a bad three-parter, but I tend to skip it a lot.
     
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  11. Damian

    Damian Commodore Commodore

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    Yeah, it definitely could have used a bit more editing. It's not terrible, but it could have been better.

    I think part of the purpose was to bring Vulcan more in line with their future portrayal. Earlier on Enterprise I remember it was criticized a bit for how almost hostile the Vulcan's seemed towards Earth. I think this was an effort to explain how they became the more familiar Vulcans in later shows. Vulcans can sometimes seem standoffish or even snobby, but early Enterprise episodes seemed to take it even further. It also explained a bit how Vulcans viewed mind melds later.

    Some of that may have been planned to be done. And I don't necessarily have a problem with all that. Discovery has also made some adjustments as it's gone along to explain away some inconsistencies. And all the Star Trek spinoffs have made adjustments here and there at some point.

    But the 3 episode arc could have been made into 2, and it probably would have made it a better, more concise and to the point episode. It tends to meander at times and you almost want to skip over some scenes to get to the juicier stuff.
     
  12. DarthPipes

    DarthPipes Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Interesting. I always remember Dead Stop being one of the most well-regarded episodes of Enterprise, especially with critics.
     
  13. Damian

    Damian Commodore Commodore

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    I'm not sure how it's viewed but I really liked "Observer Effect"...even if I feel they misused the Organians here (I kind of wished they were some other alien--it didn't feel like something the Organians would do---but I digress).

    This was a standout performance I thought for Scott Bakula. I have to admit there were times I didn't care for his acting style as Archer (not always, but sometimes it just wasn't all there). Don't get me wrong, I like Bakula himself, he's a great representative for Star Trek. He always has the right attitude, he enjoys being part of the Star Trek family and the fans. You can't help but like the guy.

    But this episode earned him a lot of points IMO. Esp. towards the end when he emotionally tells the Organians that if that's what it means to be advances, he wants no part of it. It was also a good episode for Phlox. He always seemed to have a soft spot for Hoshi and he seemed to be especially troubled when she got sick, and esp. when she 'died'.

    And as a horror fan I always like creepy scenes. And when Trip and Hoshi turn around and see "Phlox" and "T'Pol" staring at them from the viewport with those crazy grins it's sent a shiver up my spine.
     
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  14. Damian

    Damian Commodore Commodore

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    This is actually a difficulty topic I think, because I actually don't recall how many episodes were viewed, positively or negatively.
     
  15. Sakonna

    Sakonna Commodore Commodore

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    I also found the Vulcan arc in season 4 a bit over-rated, I totally agree that more editing is what was needed, and it could have made a much better two-parter.

    Or maybe more interesting locations would have done the trick. I was never more bored to be trapped in that cave set than I was in this arc.
     
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  16. Farscape One

    Farscape One Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    I think the budget slashing of season 4 was most felt in that arc. One of the reasons why they went the mini-arc route that year was because each episode's budget was slashed almost in half. To help consolidate sets, guest stars, etc., they used several episodes' budget to tell one story, basically. Arguably, it helped the series more than hurt it because it forced the writers and production team to be even more creative than usual.

    The Vulcan arc, to me, was good, but it did feel like it was too long. I agree that 1 episode less would have made it a tighter story. I don't think anything else they had at the time would have worked, like more locations, not with they had to contend with. That extra episode could have been used to gut "DAEDALUS" and create a new two-parter. Or even better... that finale.

    Side note: I always wondered if season 3 of HEROES, with the two main stories VILLAINS and FUGITIVES, was inspired by ENTERPRISE's 4th season in terms of smaller large arc... particularly since season 1, 2, and 4 were a single main story. (Though season 2 is easily explained because of the Writers' strike that year.)
     
  17. Damian

    Damian Commodore Commodore

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    That may be part of it, but I also think part of it was to shake things up a bit. TV was in the midst at that time of moving away from being episodic and more toward seasonal and series long arcs. Season 3 and 4 were Star Treks first forays into multiple episode arcs (other than the cliffhangers). That of course has been carried on with Discovery.

    Enterprise had stalled during season 2 and they decided to shake things up in season 3. And since that got some good reviews at least they decided to continue it on a smaller scale in season 4. I think they also saw the writing on the wall that the show was probably not going to last much more than a season or two more and they wanted to make sure to tie it more to the original series, so you can see more how Enterprise led to what came later.
     
  18. Farscape One

    Farscape One Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Oh, no doubt they wanted to shake things up. Season 3 did change the series for the better. And the mini-arcs were a method that coincided with the budget slashing.

    The Xindi arc DID meander a few times, which probably was one inspiration for going the shorter route.

    Seeing the writing on the wall was likely, too. Honestly, the two smartest things the producers did for season 3 and 4 was hire Manny Coto, and hiring Judith and Garfield Reeves-Stevens for season 4.
     
  19. F. King Daniel

    F. King Daniel Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    I think "Affliction" and "Divergence" are under-rated. A lot of people hated them for trying to explain a makeup revision (which was subsequently ignored by ST: Discovery) but I thought the episodes were just fun.

    Another vote for "Carpenter Street" being underrated. I remember being weirded out that a Trek episode featured a guy kidnapping prostitutes, at least until I remembered that classic Trek episode where Scotty murdered a stripper.

    I also submit "Storm Front" is underrated. Its deeply goofy silliness and makes zero sense (the time war is launched from the timeline it ends up creating?), but again it's FUN. Alien Nazis in the White House during WWII? Of course.
     
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  20. BillJ

    BillJ Canon Warrior Premium Member

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    Deep Space Nine was running with arcs long before Enterprise hit the scene.
     
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