Discussion in 'Star Trek: Enterprise' started by Melakon, Feb 6, 2013.
So, Mr Trinneer, what do you think of the scripts for season two so far?
2:11 - Precious Cargo
TV Blurb: Trip meets a beautiful princess who is returning from a diplomatic mission, but they're captured and later steal an escape pod, only to land on a creepy swamp planet. No tiny old Jedi masters appear. Teleplay by David A. Goodman; Story by Rick Berman & Brannon Braga. Directed by David Livingston.
Part Shakespeare, part TNG: The Perfect Mate, part It Happened One Night. Two aliens ask for help repairing a passenger stasis pod on their cargo ship. Trip goes over to help and discovers the sleeping passenger is a beautiful woman. But the the stasis field fails and she wakes up. And Trip's situation goes downhill from there.
It's a bit of an old fashioned screwball romantic comedy, with some nice touches. Connor Trinneer and guest star Padma Lakshmi work well together and are an attractive couple. There's also a funny scene where Archer, T'Pol, and Reed try to get information from one of the aliens by staging a mock inquisition.
I liked the episode well enough. It's nothing earth shattering, but just a pleasant little trifle. Director David Livingston does give us a few takes featuring Lakshmi's physical attributes, for which I'm sure others besides me were grateful.
Though I wondered what it would have been like if they hadn't used Trip as the featured character. What if it had been Malcolm? Spit and polish Malcolm, who never has much luck with women, finding himself squeezed into a one-person escape pod with a equally pretentious woman he can't get along with. Old doom and gloom Malcolm. Malcolm with the stiff upper lip. The setup would have had to be different, since he's no engineer.
A few years ago, cookbook author Padma Lakshmi ate a hamburger for a Carls Jr commercial: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mQDit9-z1Xw
Next: "The Catwalk"
Would Malcolm have scored?
Malcolm's a gentleman in the end, I'd think. So he'd pamper and be respectful to the uppity princess and she'd never notice him.
I think you're right, R. Star. My own answer to the question (immediately after I wrote it) is I think Malcolm would be so caught up in his military romanticism, he'd obey her every order.
2:12 - The Catwalk
TV Blurb: The crew takes shelter from a dangerous storm by moving everyone into one of the nacelles. But then aliens invade the ship! Written by Mike Sussman & Phyllis Strong. Directed by Mike Vejar.
I really liked this episode for the character relationship moments, but disliked the aliens taking over the ship subplot. I think the story might have been more effective had it concentrated on the relationships of the crew while battling the storm, not just waiting it out.
There are many scenes I liked: Archer catching T'Pol in a misstatement, Malcolm bitching about the food although he's known for eating whatever's in front of him, and Travis gets some things to do besides sit and pilot the ship with his mouth shut.
This episode introduces the idea of an alternate piloting station, which apparently develops into TOS' auxiliary control room and evolves into TNG's battle bridge.
Season's outtakes include Connor Trinneer trying very hard not to laugh when Scott Bakula stumbles over a line.
Yeah there are a number of ENT & VOY episodes that would have benefited from not feeling the need to wedge an "Action" plot into them and Catwalk is definitely one of them.
I agree, the alien invasion plot was by far the weakest aspect of this episode. Other than that, I quite enjoyed it. I think that if "The Catwalk" had been made during the first season, when there were a lot more episodes focused on exploration and the crew encountering strangeness in the galaxy, then the episode probably would have focused more on the crew battling the storm, instead. But most of Season Two's episodes seemed to tack on extraneous action subplots, usually to their detriment.
Agreed - the interpersonal stuff is great - and even having unfamiliar aliens on board (and they have a barbecue in there) works. But then it turns into let's race against time, etc. and that feels forced and misplaced.
2:13 - Dawn
TV Blurb: Trip gets stranded on a deserted planet with someone again, only this time it's an alien who wants to kill him. Written by John Shiban. Directed by Roxann Dawson.
If I said everything I wanted to say about the story's similarities to the film "Enemy Mine", it would take up half this entry. But Google indicates there has been plenty about that said already, so I'll save everybody the bother.
Good performances by Connor Trinneer and Gregg Henry. Henry is another actor whose work I first noticed in 1984 (Body Double), so I'm always pleased to see his name in credits. Unfortunately the script is pretty clunky. Trinneer gets lots of awful monologues and Henry gets lots of unintelligible grunts. Something happens in the final moments though, that makes me think Zho'Kaan understood more than he was letting on.
I thought Roxann Dawson's direction of the action scenes was well done, but I sensed a repetiveness in all the other scenes. If characters were just together talking, there seemed to be a lot of back and forth cutting. Not too many scenes with both lead characters together in frame.
There's finally a valid reason for Trip to take his shirt off without it feeling like a gratuitous skin shot.
At least no one said, "Your Mickey Mouse is one big stupid dope!"
2:14 - Stigma
TV Blurb: When Vulcan doctors learn that T'Pol has a disease, they refuse to help and threaten to return her to Vulcan. Meanwhile, Phlox's wife Feezal targets Trip as a potential playmate. Written by Rick Berman & Brannon Braga. Directed by David Livingston.
A moral parable as only Star Trek can do them. The story was originally conceived as an analogy to the HIV/AIDS epidemic, but there are other interpretations possible. The comparison can fit any ruling society that denies rights to a race, class, religion, or subculture that meets their disapproval.
There are good scenes with Archer, T'Pol, and Phlox together, along with their individual dealings with a trio of hardlining Vulcan doctors. Michael Ensign guests as Oratt of the Council of Physicians, and has previously appeared on TNG, DS9, and VOY.
The B-story comedy revolves around Feezal (Melinda Page Hamilton) lustfully pursuing an uncomfortable Trip, who is further baffled by Phlox's reaction on learning about it.
Feezal (to Trip): You can pull it out now.
Next: "Cease Fire"
"Stigma" presents an A-plot that would have been timely and consequential ten years earlier. Meanwhile, though the B-plot has some amusing lines, if the roles had been reversed I don't think anyone would have found it as funny.
It depends. If it were Trip being suggestive, people might think him a bit of a lunkhead. If it were Phlox chatting up female crewmembers, it would just be explained as another one of his quirks.
I think Feezal did go a bit far though, in the mess hall. She drags Hoshi into it, teasing both of them by telling Trip that Hoshi thinks he's attractive.
2:15 - Cease Fire
TV Blurb: Pinkskin tries to mediate a dispute between pointy eared bastards and blue devils. Written by Chris Black. Directed by David Straiton.
Fan favorite Suzie Plakson adds an Andorian to her Trek portfolio playing Tarah, a strong-willed officer who doesn't agree with Shran's goals of peaceful negotiation with the Vulcans over a planetary dispute. Archer has the unwanted task of getting the two sides to cooperate.
This episode, though entertaining and providing more insight into the Vulcan-Andorian conflict, suffers a bit as there's a recycling of things we've already seen-- stubborn Vulcans, furious Andorians, and the Enterprise crew again getting captured. Along with more fisticuffs and firefights in dimly lit areas. For a change of pace, Archer beats up a woman this time. Meanwhile, Tucker has his hands full trying to prevent Vulcan and Andorian ships from sending reinforcements to the planet's surface.
As usual, Soval again tries to convince T'Pol to abandon Enterprise and Archer, but she refuses.
It's okay. The darkness of some scenes makes it difficult to tell what's going on sometimes, but I suppose it helps hide the stunt doubles.
Next: "Future Tense"
2:16 - Future Tense
TV Blurb: A small craft with a dead pilot is discovered to be from the future. Then the Suliban and Tholians decide they want it too. And the times, they are a-changin'. Written by Mike Sussman and Phyllis Strong. Directed by James Whitmore, Jr.
I'm a bit of a sucker for any story that presents subtle alterations of reality, so I liked this episode. There are intriguing ideas, interesting revelations by Phlox, a clever approach stylistically with the timeslips, and some impressive visual effects work.
We get to see Tholian ships for the first time in the series, though the Tholians themselves remain unseen. Thanks to Mike Sussman's love of battle scenes, we get to see the Suliban and Tholians fighting over who gets to take the future craft first.
Most of the regular cast is well-used, though Travis and Hoshi again seem confined to the bridge. Malcolm seems the most susceptible to the time hiccups, being the first to sense them when they occur.
The only part that bothered me was the ending. If the craft was retrieved into the future less than a minute after its distress beacon was activated, why didn't those future hotshots simply backtrack and take the craft before Enterprise discovered it? Of course, then the episode never would have happened.
Line never before heard in Star Trek: "I always wanted to meet a stegosaurus."
2:17 - Canamar
TV Blurb: Archer and Trip are falsely arrested as smugglers and placed on a transport to a prison planet. Meanwhile, T'Pol and Malcolm deal with the local government officer on the case. Written by John Shiban. Directed by Allen Kroeker.
I had to go through this one several times before I could even get an idea of what to write about it, which isn't always a good sign. It feels derivative of something for me, but I can't pin it down. I know some compare it to the film Con Air, but I've not seen that so can't judge. But it did give me memories of Air Force One, Cliffhanger, Die Another Day, and any number of movies set on Roman galleys during the 1960s.
As the above image shows, there are some nice effects. The story itself is pretty simple plotwise, but the strength is in its character scenes, particularly the conflict between Archer and career criminal Kuroda. I also liked that Malcolm was actively involved during T'Pol's discussion with the local official. There are more uncomfortable moments for Trip, putting up with an overly talkative benchmate, and a Nausicaan brute who doesn't take a liking to him.
For me, the real highlight was watching the work of actors Scott Bakula and guest Mark Rolston play out their 2-man scenes in the transport cockpit.
Blooper: Anthony Montgomery stumbles during a take of an action scene with many extras, showing more emotion than Travis was ever allowed.
Next: "The Crossing"
2:18 - The Crossing
TV Blurb: Enterprise gets swallowed up by a huge alien spaceship, then its incorporeal lifeforms begin taking over the crew. Teleplay by Rick Berman & Brannon Braga; Story by Rick Berman & Brannon Braga & Andre Bormanis. Directed by David Livingston.
Another variation on the alien possession story, which is just the old ghosts/evil spirits stuff from thousands of years earlier. Despite that, I liked this because it gave at least 3 of the main actors something different to do.
Connor Trinneer does a fine job as the main spokesman for the incorporeal lifeforms. Dominic Keating and Linda Park also get a chance to get a little outside their usual characters. Keating does very well as Possessed Malcolm. I've not seen his other work, but he probably makes a great villain.
Astonishingly, Phlox, of all people, gets two big fight scenes, one of them with a Possessed Hoshi.
To hide from the aliens (and perhaps amortize the cost of the set), much of the crew takes refuge in the catwalk. Conveniently, the aliens can't pass through the osmium alloy shielding up there, as another touch of continuity with the earlier episode.
Non-corporeal (or noncorporeal) is how the aliens are repeatedly referred to, but that appears to be another case of Trek technobabble. Two dictionary sources only recognize the word incorporeal.
During certain low angles in the corridors with Phlox in his spacesuit, either the helmet is not attached to the suit, or the helmet has glass panels below the chin. I can't tell which.
It's not explained how Trip gets possessed the final time, when the crew is in the catwalk. Either that osmium alloy shielding isn't as protective as they thought, or he must have gotten taken before entering the catwalk. It's possible he's possessed by the same entity each time, who might be more experienced at hiding itself in a body.
At one point, Enterprise is outside the giant ship and possessions are taking place. Yet T'Pol later says if the creatures are exposed to space, they will die.
When the aliens believe their host bodies are about to die, they vacate. But why didn't one leave Hoshi when Phlox knocked her out? And why don't they just look for a new host when forced to vacate a body, as happens earlier before the crew hides?
The verbal instructions Archer gives Phlox for removing a maintenance panel and then rerouting atmospheric controls is almost as complex as when Reed gave Archer instructions for disarming a mine.
You've sorted of answered your own question. The couldn't simply go back and retrieve it earlier, because if they did the Enterprise would never find it and activate the distress beaon. Meaning they wouldn't know to go back and retrive it. Don;t you just "love" Temporal Mechanics?
2:19 - Judgment
TV Blurb: Archer gets hauled before a Klingongaroo court for assisting refugees from one of the Empire's abandoned territories. Teleplay by David A. Goodman; Story by Taylor Elmore & David A. Goodman. Directed by James L. Conway.
(It took 4 tries to get a screenshot with sparks that I liked, those suckers were fast.)
The episode consciously styles itself after Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country in both story, production design, and visual imagery. Klingon justice also seems to resemble Cardassian justice as shown in DS9: Tribunal, with the sentence determined before a public show trial begins.
It's really Trekvet J. G. Hertzler's show, as Archer's appointed attorney Kolos. An advocate for the defense for fifty years, he remembers the days when Klingon Honor was more than empty words by boasting hypocrites.
Hertzler is equally met by another veteran, John Vickery, as prosecutor Orak, who confidently struts about playing to the crowd in the galleries calling for blood. This was Vickery's third appearance in Star Trek, and each time he built a character markedly different from the others.
Granville Van Dusen serves as the Magistrate of the trial, and all three of these actors are responsible for the success of the courtroom scenes. I usually don't like courtroom type shows, but they sometimes work better for me when it's in alien courtrooms. Unfortunately in Star Trek, those different justice systems between the major races tend to resemble each other in terms of what justice actually means.
We also meet a Klingon named Duras (Trekvet Daniel Riordan), who has been demoted for his failure to capture the refugees. Apparently an ancestor of the same Duras family that gains prominence 200 years later, he unfortunately comes off as just another angry Klingon. Riordan however, really put his teeth into the part. He had also played the angry alien Starfleet officer that Wesley Crusher bumped into during one of his unannounced academy tests.
The prison mines of Rura Penthe also appear in the final act, which feels incredibly rushed in how Archer escapes. T'Pol has to put a plan into motion too quickly, which is only explained through dialogue.
It's a good homage show, but the ending is just too hurried.
Fun fact: the idea for "Canamar" came from the original ending for "Judgment," with Enterprise trying to rescue Archer from a prison ship. I dunno how "Canamar" ended up being produced first, but it would have been cool if they'd instead taken that idea and turned it into a two-part storyline.
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