Archive for April, 2013

Trekathon 714: Zero Hour (ENT)

April 19th, 2013

The Xindi arc comes to an end, as the weapon reaches Earth.

I’ll say something about how this whole season turned out in my season review shortly. But I thought this was a fairly good ending (until the last five minutes) to the season – the story was wrapped up in a satisfactory way, and there’s even now a good explanation as to why we never heard of this ‘Expanse’ in other series. Perhaps a little action heavy overall, but with some good sequences. And I thought splitting the action into two ‘threads’, the sphere builders and the weapon, was good. A little more interconnection with them would have made it better though

(Oh, and c’mon. Just because a species eats live animals does not make them evil. That opening sequence was unworthy of Star Trek).

Which brings us to the cliffhanger – to which I say, yuck. I hope this isn’t the season long plot for next year, because few things end up as tiresome as space Nazis. Especially when they’re actual Nazis as well.

Callbacks: We see the signing of the Federation Charter – and learn it was Humans, Vulcans, Andorians and Tellarites who founded the Federation

714 down, 23 to go.

Trekathon 713: Countdown (ENT)

April 18th, 2013

Some Xindi try to launch the weapon, while others help Enterprise’s attempt to destroy it.

My main disappointment with what was generally a fairly enjoyable episode is that we didn’t get to see more of the aquatics. They’re actually the most ‘alien’ of the Xindi species, compared to previous Star Trek. And it would have been fun to see a bit more of their culture and technology. But there’s not much season left, so I suppose there isn’t really enough time.

As with a good serial story, some previous elements that weren’t clear come together (T’Pol’s mission in the previous episode), and other parts are less clear (not quite sure why Hoshi was grabbed for changing the code). Oh, and the ‘white cloud sphere builders’ stuff just appears silly.

(I’m still not a big fan of the ‘primates versus not primates’ stuff, but at least the Insectoids came around. Briefly).

713 down, 24 to go.

Trekathon 712: The Council (ENT)

April 17th, 2013

Archer confronts the Xindi council.

This is what Babylon 5 used to call a ‘WHAM’ episode. A clever drawing together of a lot of the threads from the season, with appropriate consequences. And a quick pivot onto a slightly new path for the conclusion of the season.

My lingering discomfort is the anthropomorphism – it seems cliche for the insectoids and reptillians to be the ones that can’t be convinced about the truth. It would have been better in some ways if one of those were the ones on our side, no matter how expensive the special effects.

The T’Pol subplot was puzzling. I expected this to be the ‘sudden last minute evidence’ that would persuade some of the council. But instead it doesn’t seem to go anywhere this time – it’ll presumably pay off before the end of the season.

Callbacks: Exhaust vents on a giant sphere? Oh no, that’s the other thing. There’s also one of the purest red shirt deaths in quite a long while. And T’Pol actually directly quotes ‘the needs of the many outweigh the needs of the few’.

712 down, 25 to go.

Trekathon 711: E² (ENT)

April 16th, 2013

It’s Tomorrow’s Enterprise, as Enterprise runs into an Enterprise crewed by everyone’s great grand children.

A potentially great concept that, after a fun twenty minutes or so, finds that it doesn’t really have anywhere to go with the setup. There isn’t much of a sense that this is a crew full of the descendants of Enterprise – other than Lorian none of them get a convincing back story. Archer’s descendant in particular seems like a very missed opportunity to tell us something about Archer.

As with The Forgotten, the episode ends up feeling like filler, just putting something in the gap between Damage and the next episode.

(The episode was not helped by the fact that I was reminded of Babylon Squared, the most important of the early ‘mythos’ episodes in Babylon 5, and the one that showed just what you can do with time travel in TV SF).

Callbacks: The first half-human half-vulcan. And obvious parallels to DS9’s Children of Time.

711 down, 26 to go.

Trekathon 710: The Forgotten (ENT)

April 15th, 2013

Archer makes an alliance with some of the Xindi.

Like the previous episode, there’s a lot going on. Unlike the previous episode it just didn’t quite hang together as well. The major plot is nicely advanced, with Mulder-Xindi convincing Scully-Xindi to believe (maybe I should watch the X-Files next, hmmm…). But beyond Degra’s growth and change, there isn’t very much new here.

The other plot, that of Trip coming to terms (at last) with his sisters death, was a by-the-numbers affair, seen in many many other shows before and after this. Add in a fairly pointless excursion outside to fix part of the ship, and it feels like an episode overall that was more worried about filling in the gap between ‘A’ and ‘B’.

(Shouldn’t Archer be the one writing the letter, not Trip?)

710 down, 27 to go.

Trekathon 709: Damage (2) (ENT)

April 14th, 2013

Enterprise tries to repair damage, as some of the Xindi begin to doubt.

Wow, a lot happened. Let’s take it one at a time.

First, the Xindi are looking a lot more interesting now, with a bit more internal dissent and conflict. A lot better than I feared from their first appearance.

Second, the T’Pol thing comes from nowhere. That’s a pity, because it could have been set up a bit more along the way. But then the clues are there in their own way – but this feels like an ex post justification to me, rather than a long planned plot development.

But the core of the episode is the dilemma that Archer faces – stand up for his values, or take the steps necessary to save Earth. This isn’t something that could have been done in the first couple of episodes of the season, it’s taken time to get to a point where this development makes sense. Great stuff.

(A couple of asides: I was hoping for a few episodes of Archer as printer, but this is also good. And this is the most damaged that a Star Trek main ship has ever felt).

709 down, 28 to go.