Discussion in 'Star Trek: Enterprise' started by TheGodBen, Sep 5, 2009.
Why do you always have a cold Godben?
Because I have an immune deficiency. Because I have AIDS. Which I contracted after being raped. While I was in prison. After my home burned down and I was falsely arrested for arson. I lost all my possessions. And my fiancée died in the fire. You just had to bring it up, didn't you?
I was only sick three times this year, twice with minor head-colds and once with what I'm still claiming was the dreaded swine flu. I've only stopped reviewing because it's Christmas and I was given the complete box-set of The Shield on DVD and I rushed through the first season. It's quite good but I still prefer The Wire because it's less episodic and more procedural, and The Wire's big gay black guy is much cooler than The Shield's big gay black guy. But The Shield has some good characters and I've heard that somewhere around season 5 or 6 there's a big "Holy s**t!!" moment, so I can't wait to see what that is. I'm betting it's a musical episode.
I wanted to get back to Enterprise tonight, but it seems like I might be going to see some dumb looking movie called Avatar instead, but I'll definitely be getting back to it by the new year. Unless I die or something, which might just happen due to the icy conditions on the roads.
It's still a bit pat. I mean, Archer went from a guy moaning and complaining all the time and a guy who desperately wanted to get away from Hernandez, and the next morning he's randy Dr Archer. Why a doctor? I don't know, I just presume that doctors are particularly randy, especially OB/GYNs and Rheumatologists. Why Rheumatologists? Beats me, I'm just rambling now.
A quick lay isn't going to sort out Archer's problem unless it's with someone special to him, and while there is a brief mention to the fact that these two used to date, in three years there hasn't been a mention of her. Not to mention the fact that he dumped her for his career, so I have a hard time believing that he really loved her. But that might be because I'm not a career-minded person and I'm a really sappy guy, so if I had to choose between a job I loved and a woman I loved I'd choose the woman every time. I'm one of those "work to live" kind of people. Which is why I'm posting here instead of working on a project I have six days to complete. Oh dear, I'm rambling again, aren't I?
Anyway, I guess my point is that everyone should watch The Wire. It's not as amazing as the hype for it would have you believe, but it's a very good tv show with some great characters and it makes you reflect upon the pointlessness of the drug war. It also has Omar.
Cold Station 12 (****)
This is one of the few season 4 episodes which I've seen more than once, in fact, it might just be the only. The first time I saw it I was in a very dispirited place in my life and I really enjoyed the episode, the second time I watched it I was in ideal conditions while in a great place in my life and I thought it was dumb. Now I'm sort of melancholy (damn you Christmas! ) and I enjoyed it again. Maybe there's something about watching a man being tortured to death on screen which resonates with the darker sides of our souls? Or perhaps this time I had already gotten used to the lower production values and it didn't bother me so much as the last time I saw it. Yeah, that's probably what it was, I just wanted to sound deep for a moment there.
The episodes begins in the past future as Soong tells "his children" that they're super intelligent while the camera passes a particularly dozy-looking kid. I bet that was Smike, the augment whose only super power is being able to hear really well. I can just imagine how he came about:
Scientist 1: I augmented my embryo so that she's 200% smarter than the average human and she's immune to all diseases.
Scientist 2: I augmented my embryo so that he's 5 times stronger than the average human, and he's well endowed.
Burt Bacharach: I augmented my embryo so that he has great hearing.
Scientist 2: That's all?
Burt Bacharach: What did you expect? I'm a bleedin' songwriter not a genetic engineer! It's a miracle I even managed that.
Scientist 1: I've been meaning to ask, what exactly are you doing here?
Burt Bacharach: I'm hiding from a randy rheumatologist.
Scientist 2: Yeah, me too.
In my defense, I found a channel on YouTube which uploads Craig Ferguson's show and it has had a strange effect on me.
Anyway, Smike explains that he was left behind because his superpower is useless and he would have slowed the others down. This definitively proves my theory that a ship's warp speed is determined by the average superpowers of the crew, as per this graph I made over 11 years ago:
Then there's a scene of Malik in bed with his sister, which I found disturbingly arousing, it's like Taboo 2: Electronically-Assisted Boogaloo all over again. And as all couples do after a coital encounter, they immediately put their underwear back on again just in case there's a camera-crew filming them. Interestingly enough, Persis will later take off her reasonably unblemished undergarment to put back on her conveniently torn tank-top, which is certainly an interesting choice. I mean, I'd keep the blue undergarment on under the tank-top if only to stop my brothers getting a look at my boobies through my chest-holes, but I guess that's just my puritanical upbringing.
I'm running out of time and I've only focused on inconsequential things from the first 10 minutes of the episode, so I'll rush through the rest of it in one paragraph: A good episode which builds to an excellent confrontation as Arik tortures and kills a man against his own desires. Some good dialogue kept me on my toes and earned the episode an extra mark. Malik's a 2D villain, Arik's not, Smike was annoying. I liked the touch of adding in Dr Lucas after mentioning him for three years, it's little things like this which help build the universe that is the 22nd century.
One last comment: Phlox and Archer talk about how Denobulans regularly use genetic engineering because the Denobulans know how to use it safely. So why wouldn't Phlox help the Valakians back in Dear Doctor? He thinks we should respect nature and allow genetic mutations to take their course while also thinking that it's good to mess with nature and play around with genetics? Ooooookaaaay.
Archer Abuse: 30
Captain Redshirt: 33
The Augments (***½)
I'm going to commend this episode for something, and it is something which I am noticing about this season, the writers are being more inventive in their solutions to problems. In seasons 1 & 2, and even 3, action sequences felt horribly derivative because it was just guys shooting at one another, and that was usually it, and this problem goes back to Voyager and large parts of DS9 and TNG. At the beginning of this episode Archer is trapped in a shaft and he only has 30 seconds to escape a deadly virus. His solution? Explosive decompression into space and an immediate transport onto Enterprise. That's an inventive solution and not one I remember seeing on Star Trek before. Similarly when Enterprise takes on the D-5 cruiser they don't get into a firefight, Enterprise fires its grappler at the Klingon's nacelle and disables the ship by ripping some of the hull off. Earlier seasons would have relied on Enterprise shooting the engine instead, but here Mike Sussman is trying different solutions to problems we've seen hundreds of times before, and that's a trend I'm noticing this season.
It's a pity then that much of the plot is so pedestrian. Malik turns on Arik because Malik is a villain and that's what villains do in Star Trek. Persis turns on Malik to help Arik because Persis is the villain's consort, and that's what consorts do in Star Trek. Malik wants to kill millions of Klingons because he's a villain and... you get the idea. But while the plot is fairly humdrum the action set-pieces are interesting enough to nudge this episode up a few marks.
The ending is both weird and fan-wanky, neither in a good way. Earlier in the episode Arik talks about the Briar Patch and I considered that a good nod to the audience, but ripping off scenes from TWOK and having Arik talk about cybernetics was too much for my tastes. Also, the scene where Malik returns from the dead to kill Arik and Archer shoots a hole through his stomach... what the hell was that?
The Augment arc wasn't a great arc, but it was above the standard of the standalone episodes of the first two seasons, so they may well be onto a winner and I endorse this new direction for the show.
Archer Abuse: 31
Nipples Ahoy!: 17
That last one is for the scene of Malik and Persis in bed while she wears her blue under-garment, because all I could think during that scene was "Nipples nipples nipples nipples nipples nipples nipples nipples nipples nipples nipples nipples nipples nipples nipples nipples nipples nipples nipples nipples nipples nipples nipples nipples nipples... Hang on, they're both in their underwear, so he knew she was probably a traitor and decided to boink her before trying to kill her? Typical male. Nipples nipples nipples nipples nipples nipples nipples nipples nipples nipples nipples nipples nipple, aw, she's dead and all the blood has stopped firming up the nipples. "
I never understand what your point with nipples is (is? are?), is it a plus or minus in your book? I would think the former is true, but often your reviews paint the sex factor as a negative. Perhaps a chart or graph to explain your stance, nipple-wise.
PS: Are you counting the men in this nipple total as well?
Lotta sexy shirtless dudes in Enterprise, more so than the ladies to be sure.
Okay, here's one I made earlier:
As you can see, if a nipple only flashes on the screen for a short time then it is not relevant to the plot, but the longer it appears on screen its relevance to the plot increases exponentially. However, if it is on screen for too long its relevance will decrease at a more linear rate and it becomes gratuitous. The red line indicates the special case of a particularly fine set of nipples, because that always aids my willingness to accept them as art.
For an example, if you haven't seen The Wire then look on YouTube for a video called "McNulty Gets Trashed" (I can't link to it because it has bare boobies). I really like that scene except the final bit of McNulty screwing the waitress because the guy is wasted, perspiring and has an injured hand, so having the waitress decide to sleep with him makes little sense and reeks of gratuitous flashing of the boobies. There was another scene in that same season where a woman called Aimee wakes up with her boyfriend Nick, and we see her topless for a few seconds as she changes into her top. (If you want pics do an image search for Kristin Proctor.) That scene was not gratuitous because they weren't on screen that long, it was a natural thing for someone to do after waking up, she was haing a conversation while doing it, and... damn, she had a nice pair.
So that's how I judge them. If their appearance makes sense and isn't the purpose of the scene then I'm perfectly happy with nudity or skimpy clothing, if they're there just to be there then I have a problem. When I'm distracted because my vulgar male mind is focusing on nipples in the middle of an important and poignant scene, and where it doesn't make sense for the character to be wearing that top because those two would not have just slept together given the current plot elements, I consider that a mark against the episode.
I am counting men, but I'm not counting any scenes which show Scott Bakula topless.
Of all the graphs he ever posted, this was the most... *lip quiver*... human.
One thing I was happy for Enterprise to do was increase male nekkidness. Never would it advance the storylines, but it made up for years and years of skimpy female oufits.
I agree that human flesh can be very distracting, and it's better for it to have a point than just to be there, taking attention away from whatever is happening onscreen. The Augments definately fall into this trap, though perhaps in this case it's because the story is a bit iffy and needs a bit of nudity to make sure we don't notice.
I'm currently watching The Sopranos for the first time and that is full of nudity, with the cast spending half their time in a topless bar. That sort of exposure sort of veers wildly between clever and gratuitous. I'm in season 5 and I've probably only just gotten used to it!
I should probably set up some sort of timer to automatically shut down my PC at 2am in order to to stop myself posting such things, if only for the sake of the children.
Some of those scenes could focus on it a little too much, I remember the opening montage of season 2 having a slow motion shot of Paulie screwing a stripper on a pool table, and that wasn't needed (although watching the jigglies in slow motion was mesmerising). But hey, it makes sense for there to be topless women in a topless bar. At least I imagine it does, I've never actually been in a topless bar so for all I know they could all be fronts for midget racing.
This is a rare thing because I'm actually interested in what other people think.
I know that this thread has died down a lot in the last few weeks so I'm not sure if there's any interest in me continuing reviewing episodes after Enterprise, so I'm trying to gauge people's opinions. My original plan was to move onto DS9 after I had finished Enterprise, but over the last few weeks I've been considering trying out Babylon 5 instead. I know I have to watch it some day if I'm to retain my geek membership card (and I need to keep that to get the ladies) and the longer I stay on this board the more likely I am to read spoilers, so it would be better to do it sooner rather than later.
It would be a thread similar to this one and the Voyager thread, except I'd be watching the show "blind" since I've not watched it before and have little idea where the plot is heading beyond something called the Shadow War. I'm sure people have done threads like that on B5 in the past, so is there normally any interest for them? Has there been one recently? Does anybody have any interest in me doing such a thread? Would you prefer that I stick with my plan of reviewing DS9 instead? Am I just wasting my time doing these threads?
Let me know your opinions any time before I finish Enterprise, I'll have to make my decision shortly before then so that I can make arrangements if I need to borrow the B5 DVDs.
Do DS9 please. I don't like Babylon 5.
From personal experience it's a lot more fun to watch a show in "blind", not knowing how it twists and turns (and not knowing are you going to end up as a fan or a hater). You've already done two "I know it all and I'll put the show in it's place" type of threads, so I think Babylon 5 would be much more interesting to do for you. Or at least more refreshing.
Yeah, people probably have done something similar, but from what I've seen it's just some random guys incapable of capital letters and readable grammar, and they don't exactly go episode by episode.
So I vote for Babylon 5. It also has less seasons than DS9. DS9 might be your favorite Trek, but going through 7 seasons is a lot more tiresome than going through 5 seasons. And going through 7 seasons that you've already seen, after 11 seasons of Trek you've already seen, is a lot more tiresome than going through 5 seasons of newdom and magical I've-never-seen-this-land. Wonder and reclaiming lost childhood innocence shall ensue.
Just my two cents.
Also, there are a lot more people in that Science Fiction&Fantasy forum. Trek forums are a bit too inbred (no offence anyone) for interesting forum posts to keep being written by other people for months and months.
There are Babylon 5 threads in Sci-Fi/Fantasy all the time, so there is definately enough interest over there. They would hug you and call you one of their own, and sacrifice to you to JMS.
I love DS9 - it is easily my favourite Trek, but the traffic in there is not amazing. Over 10 years it's been off the air now, which is just difficult to comprehend really. Sykonee, however, has an excellent thread going at the moment, reviewing DS9, VOY and B5 all at the same time, in order of airdate. That's been going on for ages now, but the I think the interest there is watching how well the shows developed over the course of their respective series compared with each other. With three shows being reviewed, it covers more bases and more people are interested.
As well as that, Babylon 5 would be fresh bait for you, whereas DS9 isn't really. And for someone that likes a pre-planned arc, you'd love the giant tapestry woven over the seasons. It ain't perfect, but it's a real blast.
Do you watch Lost? You should do that start to finish. And 24. And Babylon 5 and DS9, all at the same time preferably.
Oh yeah, I've never been to a topless bar either, it'd be wasted on me. I don't like midget races really.
I'll throw out a vote for Firefly, particularly if you've never seen it. Plus it's only one season and a movie so it would be a quick review thread.
I'll likely continue to read on any Star Trek show or Babylon 5 (or BSG). Your reviews and the comments are entertaining.
I watched through seasons 1-4 on Babylon 5 this year and lost momentum to keep up season 5. Didn't like season 4 finale. It would be interesting since you've never seen the show.
As far as the ratings go, since I think you favor DS9 as the best Trek, I'm most interested in seeing a ratings comparison between DS9 and TNG.
You could also do an overall Star Trek movie review thread.
Was that decisive enough?
The thing is that I tried watching B5 before and gave up after 4 episodes because I didn't like the style of it, so there is a possibility that I still wont like it when I try it again, so the reviews could end up being like the Voyager thread. Of course, I could end up loving the show, which is exactly what happened when I gave BSG a second shot. I know that if I do review B5 I am probably going to tear apart the first few episodes, so maybe you'd get some enjoyment from that?
Going in blind would shake things up for me, but it is also a big worry. A few days ago I was looking through the archives and found a thread started in the TV and Media forum where someone watched The Wire for the first time and they were giving their impressions of the show. The problem was that some people started posting spoilers about what happened in later seasons, and when the OP complained the rest of the thread took places in spoiler tags. The OP seemed to be so off-put by the fact that he couldn't read his own thread that he stopped posting. Something like that could easily happen in a B5 thread since the show is so heavily arc based, and even if the long-time posters behave themselves I still run the risk of a noob showing up and inconsiderately dropping a major spoiler.
The problem is that I can't see myself giving B5 a fair chance without the structure of a review thread. As I said, I tried watching it two year ago and gave up because I felt little incentive to continue, but if I was reviewing it in a thread like this I would feel compelled to continue, even if I thought it sucked. If I had been watching Voyager without reviewing it I would have given up on it some time in mid season 3, it was only the structure I had forced myself into, and expectations of others, which kept me going until the end.
Well at least I can capitalise letters correctly 95% of the time, but I still have trouble with some of my punctuation, particularly when deciding where to place commas. But I do make nice graphs, and that always helps to make you look like you're some form of authority.
Yeah, Sci-Fi/Fantasy is the big-time, but if I fail there I wont get another chance to make it big. I'll be stuck in the little-league Trek forums til the end of my days.
Sykonee's thread is one of the reasons why I feel compelled to give B5 another go, because I only read the DS9 and Voyager parts while skipping the B5 sections, and I want to know exactly what it is that B5 is doing which is causing it to trounce both Treks almost every week.
Okay, just transfer €25,000 into my PayPal account and I'll give up college in order to do all that.
I'm planning to rewatch all of Lost next year once I've got all the DVDs, that way I'll be able to watch it from the beginning understanding all the mysteries (hopefully). So if I ever get around to that I might just turn it into a review thread.
I love midget races, but I'm still too scared to go into topless bars just in case there really is topless women in there. It would make me all sweaty and nervous.
I watched all of Firefly over two nights while suffering insomnia due to a bad breakup. It had the potential to be a good show, but as it is it is just 13 episodes (and a movie) of something that never gets the chance to go anywhere. Anyway, I can't review Firefly, it would be too short and I demand that all my review threads make it to tens of thousands of views.
I'd still go back and review both of those shows, I'd just take a 6 months detour. I'd still say that DS9 would beat out all the Treks if only because I love the characters most and therefore can usually find something to like even in the most boring episode. However, if Enterprise has a strong fourth season there is a possibility that TNG will struggle to maintain second place, and if I do TOS it'll be a crap-shoot to find out where that show is going to land.
I'd do those as additional (albeit longer) reviews in the series review threads, so if I ever get around to reviewing TNG I'll finish it off like I did the Voyager thread and throw in the four movies as bonus material. The same for the TOS movies (and I already did my Trek XI review in the Voyager thread).
Season 1 was a bit hard for me to get into, with some seemingly standard sci-fi fare to wade through. Gradually though, bits and pieces of the arc become apparent, and by the middle of the season there had been a couple of big incidents to get things rolling...
I wouldn't worry too much. Jan and Neroon (one of the Sci-Fi/Fantasy mods) adore the show and will fend off spoiler hounds. I remember reading the Wire thread that lost the plot a while ago, and wondered if it's because threads for that show are a bit rare ,and the few fans on TrekBBS all piled into the discussion?
Hee. I spose the difference with B5 is that it doesn't flounder for a season or two finding its footing. DS9 was excellent by season 5, whereas B5 was getting its groove on in season 2. And VOY had potential but just kept misfiring.
Feh. Who needs college?
Just do a website already!
I'm torn between asking you to do DS9 and suggesting you don't because we kinda have a good idea what you'll think
I'd still review DS9, just 6 months later than I had originally planned, and watching B5 might make my rewatch of DS9 more interesting because it would give me ammunition to fire at that show ("B5 five's episode So and So was much better than this...").
I'm beginning to lean towards going for B5, but everyone that commented in the Voyager thread wants me to do DS9 instead, so I'm unsure if I should.
Fine, here's my magnificent new review site.
If you're in work or have even a modicum of decency please don't click on the link of what I found on the internet. Seriously, just don't do it.
I never knew you reviewed XI before I clicked on that. Anyway, I'd suggest reviewing TNG. No, really.
Don't do Doctor Who though. You wouldn't like it.
Yeah, the posters down there would accuse me of stealing your format.
Heh, I read the thread the same way. But I've been meaning to finally watch B5 anyway for some time.
I'd suggest you to watch B5 and rewatch DS9 at the same time, but that's what I intend to do, so I'm shooting myself in the foot here. I wanted to start it about month or two ago, but then I decided to give ENT another chance, and I'm halfway through - just finishing season 2.
Oh gosh, maybe that B5 first watch/DS9 rewatch thread is not such a good idea after all. I don't to read a bunch of spoilers, which would probably happen. Although, perhaps it wouldn't be so bad in the small but warm circle of Niners (+ Anwar) in the DS9 subforum.
There are more positive examples, too. There's a thread in the TV & Media section by someone who has been watching Oz for the first time and posting her impressions - and people have been careful not to post real spoilers without hiding them, at worst we make broad hints about things she asks about just to whet her appetite. Granted, Oz has fewer episodes anyway, so there's less time for someone less careful to come in and start spoiling things left and right.
Commander Toreth in The Face of the Enemy; Donatra and Sela were also commanders - Romulan rank equivalent of a Starfleet captain. It seems that Romulans have most female high ranking officers; Gul Ocett seems more of an exception among Cardassians.
(Since I'm far behind TheGodBen in watching Enterprise, I read the reviews in this thread after having watched a specific episode, no matter when it was posted.)
Separate names with a comma.