Category Archives: Enterprise

Also known as ENT

The best (and worst) of Trek

Our 18-month mission to … tell you about Star Trek’s most pivotal episodes is (maybe?) over. We haven’t decided yet whether we’ll tackle the rebooted movies or the new series. But one thing’s for sure …

We still have a few things to say about Star Trek.

When we started this blog, we didn’t want it to be a site where we just reviewed every episode. Other sites, like Jammers Reviews, do that well enough. But now, as we close this project, we wanted to identify our 10 favorite episodes in all of Trek, including the movies. Some of these appeared in our Tapestry, others didn’t.

First, some honorable mentions: “Where No Man Has Gone Before,” “Mirror, Mirror”, “The Measure of a Man”“Yesterday’s Enterprise”, “Improbable Cause”/”The Die is Cast”, “The Way of the Warrior”, “Timeless”, “Twilight”, “Star Trek III: The Search for Spock” and “Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home”.

Now, here’s our top 10. Note that this includes a couple of multipart stretches.

“One day, I’ll make Voyager even worse…”

10. “Star Trek: First Contact” — Easily the best of the TNG movies. It’s gritty, visceral and still optimistic with a good supporting cast while being the only TNG film that feels all that consequential. The flawed Borg Queen concept is a slight ding — and it paved the way to defanging the Borg on Voyager — but it’s still a great film.

9. “Azati Prime”/ “Damage”/ “The Forgotten” — Enterprise’s peak in arguably the most daring, and probably the most morally questionable, stretch of Trek episodes, which worked well in the years immediately following 9/11. It’s not Roddenberry’s Trek, but it’s good TV and as edgy as anything the franchise did.

9. “The Trouble with Tribbles” — Trek’s best comedy and also an episode that shows why TOS endures: the chemistry among the cast members. Kirk dressing down Scotty and others for getting in a fight with Klingons is still a thing of beauty.

7. “In the Pale Moonlight” — The episode where DS9 decided to not even pretend to be like the rest of Star Trek. It’s controversial as it makes Sisko, in effect, a criminal, which was just incredibly daring for 1998 TV. It might have been higher on the list if the scope issues that DS9 struggled with — i.e., a handful of people on the station can change and have no problem with changing the balance of galactic affairs — had been better handled.

6. “The City on the Edge of Forever” — Many fans’ favorite, but not ours. Arguably, it had been built up too much by the time we saw it and wasn’t as original in the 1990s as it was in the 1960s. Still, a great episode with Shatner, Nimoy and Kelley absolutely bringing it.

"Shall we swipe left or right keptin?"
“Shall we swipe left or right, keptin?”

5. “Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan” — Trek’s best film. Shatner and Nimoy are pitch-perfect and the story is a great mix of action and science fiction. If you haven’t seen it, you’re not really a Trek fan.

4. “The Inner Light” — Simply an amazing episode in which Picard lives an entirely different life as a way for a dying civilization to not be forgotten. The final scene with Picard in his quarters, as he re-acclimates with his real life, is a gut punch in the best way. It’s unfortunate that we didn’t see more consequences in subsequent episodes and that Picard, more or less, is back in regular form the next week.

3.  “The Visitor” — DS9’s finest episode as Sisko is lost and Jake spends the rest of his life trying to find him. We were often critical of Avery Brooks, but he was absolutely great in this episode. As poignant as Trek gets.

2. “Space Seed” — The setup to the second film is incredible to watch. That it was on television in 1967 is amazing, as Khan’s manipulation of Lt. McGivers is very edgy and provocative. Kirk’s decision to let Khan try to build a world rather than putting him in prison is classic TOS, in that it’s morally justifiable and intellectually curious but also a dangerous and questionable call.

Inform Admiral Kanye, this is the best two-parter OF ALL TIME.
“Inform Admiral Kanye, this is the best two-parter OF ALL TIME.”

1. “The Best of Both Worlds” — No surprise here. This two-parter has everything, and set the stage for cliffhangers for the next 25 years. Jonathan Frakes — often marginalized in late TNG — puts in his best performance and the Borg, as an implacable threat, still seem menacing today. Even the scene where Riker chooses his first officer is great. I would go as far as saying it’s a perfect two-parter, except for the somewhat rushed ending. It’s also bolstered by the idea that Picard wasn’t back at his desk the following week. In fact, he struggled with his experiences immediately after he’s rescued and in the following years.

And now, the bottom 10 (after some dishonorable mentions): “The Alternative Factor”, “The Lights of Zetar”, “Haven”, “Dark Page”, “Star Trek: Insurrection”, “Ferengi Love Songs”, “Spirit Folk”, “The Disease”, “Precious Cargo”, “Extinction”.


10. “Star Trek V: The Final Frontier” — The strangest entry in the film franchise. It’s light and jokey at points and heavy and ponderous at others — but it consistently avoids anything approaching subtlety. Co-written by William Shatner, the movie seems intent on lionizing Kirk while painting Spock as weak and evasive (the scene in the brig being the worst example). Worse, the script humiliates Scotty and Uhura.

9. “Course: Oblivion” — One of a handful of episodes that shows exactly what was wrong with Voyager. Instead of using a strong cast and a great concept to write compelling stuff with the REAL Voyager, the creators used those things with a FAKE Voyager. Worse, the fake Voyager should have easily known that it was a fake Voyager, invalidating the whole premise of the episode. And how did the fake Voyager crew build a fake Voyager and survive for like a year outside of the only environment that could support it?

8. “Code of Honor” — Weirdly racist and definitely uninspired. It feels more like third-season TOS than TNG, which sort of makes sense, as it was just the third TNG episode. Still, it’s hard to understand what the creators were thinking.

These are just clips from other BDSM books I've read?!!!?
“These are just clips from other BDSM books I’ve read?!!!?”

7. “Shades of Gray” — The awful Riker flashback episode partly necessitated by a writers’ strike. Yuck.

6. “Profit and Lace” — The worst of DS9’s awful Ferengi episodes. Quark in drag? What drivel. DS9’s obsession with having two Ferengi-centric episodes a year was just ridiculous.

5. “Fascination” — Lwaxana Troi comes to DS9 and everybody — well, at least the main cast and the regular guest stars, minus Sisko — gets horny. WTF, creators?

4. “Threshold” — The most scientifically awful episode in second-generation Trek. It didn’t make the top spot because there’s SOME good work by Robert Duncan-McNeil and it was an attempt at something new and different.

3. “A Night in Sickbay” — Archer as a total huffy asshole, with moronic aliens and a ceremonial apology involving a chainsaw. Oh, and a totally unnecessary sexual fantasy from Archer about T’Pol. The Archer/T’Pol relationship — at least in the prime reality — was professional and friendly, not romantic. Throwing a sex dream from Archer in there really belittled the show.

And, we have a tie for Trek’s worst episode:


1. “And the Children Shall Lead” — Wow. What an absolute train wreck. The kids are annoying and awful, the villain behind their behavior is horribly acted and conceived and even the editing is bad. While “Spock’s Brain” and “The Way to Eden” are the most infamous episodes of TOS, “And the Children Shall Lead” is BY FAR the worst.

Beverly, you've got nothing on Mrs. Darcy...
“Beverly, you’ve got nothing on Mrs. Darcy…”

1. “Sub Rosa” — Of all the awfulness in TNG’s seventh season — it’s worse than season one, folks, as the creators should have known better after six-plus years of the series — this episode is just cringe-worthy. Crusher was the most neglected of the TNG regulars, and it’s a shame that one of the few episodes to feature her is this hideous mess. She falls in love … with a freaking ghost.

That’s it for Trek Tapestry.

Or is it …


Gettin’ from there to here

It’s been a long road, folks. As is our practice when wrapping up a series, we’re going to write up our thoughts on the episodes of Enterprise we didn’t review that are noteworthy — both for being great and terrible.

As Enterprise was a shorter series than other second-generation Trek — and as we reviewed a lot of episodes in the third and fourth seasons — the following will be shorter than our previous wrap ups.

Episodes you should also watch (listed chronologically)

“After this, can we recreate the Alamo in a holosuite?”

“Shuttlepod One” — Trip and Reed are marooned and could possibly die on a busted shuttle in deep space. It wasn’t a new concept, but Connor Trinnear and Dominic Keating brought their A games and channeled Bashir/O’Brien from DS9.

“Cogenitor” — The crew learns the tragic consequences of imposing human values on alien cultures. Great work by Scott Bakula and Trinnear.

“Continuity is irrelevant.”

“Regeneration” — Some Borg frozen in the ice on Earth since “Star Trek: First Contact” get unfrozen and start wreaking havoc. It leaves a glaring plot hole — how did this all happen without Picard and Co. knowing about it in “Q Who?” — but it’s basically worth it. One of the early examples of how Enterprise worked as a prequel series.

“Twilight” — One of the highlights of season three’s Xindi arc that was wiped away by a time travel reset. Still, a great “what-if” scenario that showed the consequences of Enterprise failing in its mission to save Earth. Arguably the best-acted episode of the series and right up there among Enterprise’s best overall.

“Similtude” — Trip is mortally wounded and Phlox creates a clone to harvest some tissue to save him. The clone will only live a few days and Archer must explain why he was created and why he’ll have to die, as Trip is too important to lose as Enterprise tries to stop the Xindi. It’s one of Enterprise’s stronger gray-area episodes.

Episodes you should avoid (ranked from bad to absolute worst)

Even this might be better…

5. “Unexpected” — An alien gets Trip pregnant. Next.

4. “Acquisition” — The crew must fight off a takeover by some unnamed aliens (the Ferengi). It’s stupid and trivial and uses the Ferengi (per usual) poorly. A bad misfire early in the series as far as callbacks go, especially when you consider the guest-star thunder. It’s sort of the reverse image of “Regeneration”.

3. “Extinction” — Right when things were picking up with the Xindi arc, this stinker gets thrown in. Archer and others go to a planet where they start turning into other creatures. It’s just extremely hard to watch. Apparently, LeVar Burton was embarrassed by his role as director. The only redeeming quality is that the effects on Archer and Co. aren’t immediately forgotten.

2. “Precious Cargo” — Honestly, I watched it once and hated it so much that I haven’t watched it again. Something about Trip and a beautiful woman. Blah.

One night in Bangko... oh sorry. My bad. You said sickbay.
One night in Bangko… oh sorry. My bad. You said sickbay.

1.A Night in Sickbay” — Simply awful. Right up there among Trek’s least watchable episodes. Archer is painted as a huffy moron and the aliens he must appease have rituals that are extremely stupid and far-fetched. And since when did Porthos (Archer’s dog) go on away missions?

Some final thoughts on Enterprise

One of the more fascinating things about this series is the idea that it was conceived and half the first season was shot before 9/11, even though it didn’t premier until late September 2001. In other words, was Enterprise a victim of bad timing?

“Oh, boy.”

I’d say there’s certainly something to that, given the success of grittier shows in the aughts (which Enterprise chose to emulate starting in the third season). But more significantly, I think the creators latched onto the cutesy stuff about humans being in deep space for the first time — e.g., Mayweather and Trip floating upside down in “Broken Bow” — instead of looking for new ways to tell stories. Too much of the first two seasons could have been on Voyager or even TNG, aside from a detail or two. It’s noteworthy that most of the best episodes in seasons one and two — “Shuttlepod One”, “Dear  Doctor” and “Shockwave, Part I” — were episodes that either could only have been done on Enterprise or successfully incorporated the concept of a nascent Starfleet into the writing.

By the time the creators shook things up in season three, I think a lot of viewers had moved on. That season — which I prefer to the good season four — also took a while to get going, so if anyone had gone back to Enterprise in fall 2003, they might not have stuck around.

It’s a shame, because a lot of what Enterprise tried to do in seasons three and four was good and ambitious. But poor timing and some bad execution — at a time when being a Star Trek series was no longer enough to ensure ratings simply because it was a Star Trek series — doomed the show.

Coming later this week …

A look back on our favorite episodes across the franchise and then, the end.

… or is it?

“These Are the Voyages…”

"So I checked the fleet database and under the 'Forever Ensign' list and it's got 3 names: Yours, mine and someone named 'Harry Kim'"
“So, I checked the fleet database and under the ‘Forever Ensign’ list and it’s got three names: Yours, mine and someone named ‘Harry Kim.'”

It’s suddenly six years later, Enterprise is returning to Earth for a big summit setting up an alliance of planets (didn’t that just happen?) and Archer’s going to give a speech (that definitely just happened). Then, Will Riker says “freeze program” and it turns out he’s in the holodeck on the Enterprise-D, and it’s REALLY 2370. Riker’s using a historical holodeck program (at the suggestion of Deanna Troi) of the NX-01’s final mission to figure out what to do in a dilemma shown in “The Pegasus”. He resumes the program and Shran shows up asking Archer for a favor. The mechanics of it aren’t that interesting, but Archer helps Shran out with some nasty bad guys, who later catch up with Enterprise. At gunpoint, Tucker essentially sacrifices himself to save Archer. Then, Riker (posing as Enterprise’s oft-mentioned Chef) talks to Tucker (presumably, earlier in the program) and gets a key insight about coming clean to Picard. Then, Riker and Troi watch as Archer is about to give his famous speech, and Riker calls for “end program.”

Why it’s important

For the second consecutive episode, I’m unclear as to what we see established as far as Earth’s alliance with other planets — but whatever it is, it’s important. Archer’s man-of-destiny role, which was such a big part of the series, comes to full fruition here.

"Say the word Admiral..."
“Say the word, Admiral…”

What doesn’t hold up

Well, I hope you all have a few minutes.

First of all, let’s talk about the connection to “The Pegasus”. In that episode, Riker’s former captain (now an admiral) comes on board and orders Riker to continue helping with illegal experiments to build a Federation cloaking device. Riker can’t tell Picard because his old captain has him under orders. Riker eventually comes clean after seeing dead bodies on the titular (and previously assumed lost) vessel AND when use of the cloaking device will save the Enterprise-D from the Romulans. So, yes, Riker does the right thing, belatedly.

But if you watch this episode, you’d think Riker came around because his experience on the NX-01 helped him pick right from wrong — or that he was struck by Tucker’s loyalty to Archer. But that’s just not what happened.

Also, it’s odd that during the Enterprise-D’s mission, Riker would have so much time to spend on the holodeck. In the original episode, Riker actually spends time with Worf in another holodeck program (we see the after effects when Riker has to go to sickbay with a broken rib). Was Riker making Data pull all his shifts, or something? It’s not as if the Pegasus mission lasted more than a few days.

There’s also the matter of the decision to advance things on the NX-01 by six years.

Put simply, it was TERRIBLE that the main characters didn’t seem to have changed at all, other than hairstyles and uniforms. Sato and Mayweather were both STILL ensigns, for crying out loud! And apparently Tucker and T’Pol never did get together, which really makes all the third and fourth season stuff seem not just trivial but pointless. Honestly, based on the character development we see here — other than what happened to Shran — nothing interesting would have occurred on Enterprise (character-wise) for SIX MORE YEARS. Maybe the series needed to be canceled if the creators were so lacking in ideas. You could argue that the creators didn’t have enough time to show any Enterprise character developments. Of course, if they hadn’t devoted half the episode to Riker and Troi …

Then, there’s the matter of Starfleet wanting to decommission Enterprise. Consider that, 100 years later, we see Starfleet vessels in service for decades (Kirk’s first Enterprise was around, with refits, for 40 years!). Why would Starfleet — which had TWO warp-5 capable ships when the credits rolled in “Terra Prime” — want to moth ball a ship that still has to be relatively advanced?

Oh, and of course, Jonathan Frakes and Marina Sirtis looked about 10 years older than they did in “The Pegasus” … because they were 10 years older. The Enterprise-D sets mostly look good, though the observation lounge was off.

Before we move on, Tucker’s sacrifice — while noble — sure seemed odd. He survives for a few minutes while the bad guys who were farther away from the explosion died instantly? Also, why didn’t we see Reed or any MACOs in the area after the bad guys board the ship?

Lastly, the question has to be asked where Riker’s program came from. Was it some interpretation of the NX-01’s final mission? It’s hard to believe it could be 100 percent accurate, given the personal conversations and details. Hmmmm …

We're waiting for a fan theory that the entire run of Enterprise was just a holo-fanfic in the Enterprise-D's database.
We’re waiting for a fan theory that the entire run of Enterprise was just a holo-fanfic in the Enterprise-D’s database.

Final thoughts

Now, we get to the question about what the creators were thinking, and if it worked.

Generally, the answer is “no.” This episode doesn’t really serve as a finale for Enterprise. It’s really a finale to second-generation Trek. That wasn’t an awful idea and it was billed as a “Valentine” to the fans. But it’s too bad that Enterprise got short-changed. It almost feels like the creators sort of figured that Enterprise was a failed series and threw in a TNG connection to try to make everyone happy. The best moment was probably the final montage of the three Enterprises — but that could have been done even if the previous 43 minutes had been different.

Was Enterprise a failed series, though? Certainly, it got canceled. But the third season was quite daring and the fourth — while filled with too much fan service — was an improvement over seasons one and two and quite entertaining at times. As I’ve noted before, I’ll take daring and flawed over boring and flawed. That’s why I stand firm that Enterprise is a superior show to Voyager.

Big picture, Enterprise did feel like a series that never quite clicked, but it came close while dealing with a shifting dramatic TV landscape and general Trek fatigue. I would have enjoyed watching more seasons, but ratings are ratings, I guess.

"This won't make any sense to you T'Pol. But Al said after I make this speech I'll leap!"
“This won’t make any sense to you, T’Pol. But Al said after I make this speech I’ll leap!”

Coming next week …

We’ll be back with a few wrap-up articles, but this will be our final review — at least, for a while.

“Demons”/ “Terra Prime”

I knew there was something fishy with that "official DNA collector" who  wanted a sample of my blood and my credit card number!!?!
“I knew there was something fishy with that ‘official DNA collector’ who wanted a sample of my blood and my credit card number!!!”

Demons: Enterprise has returned to Earth — for like the 10th time in the fourth season — for a summit with all the aliens Archer has buddied up with (Vulcans, Andorians, Tellarites, etc.) to form an alliance. But a woman with mortal wounds enters as the conference begins and gives T’Pol a strand of hair — which turns out to be from a human/Vulcan child created with T’Pol and Tucker’s DNA. The child was created by Terra Prime, an isolationist group who wants limited contact with alien races, who plans to use the child as a symbol of the evils of inter-species breeding. T’Pol and Tucker try to find the child and are quickly captured (duh) by Terra Prime’s leader, John Frederick Paxton (Peter Weller), who is based on the moon. The episode ends as Paxton takes control of some devices used to divert comets on Mars and aims them at Starfleet Headquarters — and broadcasts his threat to wipe it out if all aliens don’t leave the system.

Terra Prime: With the summit in danger of collapsing, Archer leads a dangerous mission to get to Mars and stop Paxton. T’Pol and Tucker are still held captive and T’Pol learns the child is dying. Eventually, the good guys prevail, but the child (whom T’Pol names Elizabeth after Tucker’s sister who was killed in the Xindi attack) dies — apparently, a result of Vulcan/human incompatibility. Archer returns to the conference and gives a speech that results in rousing applause, with the idea that the alliance will still happen. The episode ends with T’Pol and Trip talking after learning that Paxton’s methods — and not genetic incompatibility — led to Elizabeth’s death.

"Sir, Robocop is on UPN." "On screen, Mr. Mayweather".
“Sir, ‘Robocop’ is on UPN.” “On screen, Mr. Mayweather.”

Why it’s important

It’s sort of hard to figure to what degree, but the groundwork laid here apparently leads to the Federation and the events in the next episode. So, even if the conference in this episode just paved the way, it’s extremely important.

Also, there’s a cool callback to Colonel Green, an historic bad dude mentioned way back in “The Savage Curtain”. Naturally, Paxton admires him.

What doesn’t hold up

Well, Paxton’s plan is really strange.

In addition to taking over the comet-deflecting thing, he genetically engineers the human/Vulcan hybrid to make a larger point about inter-species breeding. And, I guess, that could have been somewhat disturbing to some people.

But why bother making the kid a combination of Trip and T’Pol? It’s sort of alluded to that Paxton knows that the two of them had been intimate, but why not just make a hybrid child with any old Vulcan and human? There was just no advantage for Paxton if Trip and T’Pol are Elizabeth’s parents, and getting both of their DNA couldn’t have been easy.

Then, there’s the plan to find the child. First of all, sending T’Pol (a Vulcan) to a supposed hotbed of isolationist activity makes NO sense. But beyond that, Trip and T’Pol were global celebrities after the Xindi incident. That neither of them wore any sort of disguise was just ridiculous.

Ensigns bossing around other ensigns. Did Starfleet run out of Lt. Commanders?
Ensigns bossing around other ensigns. Did Starfleet run out of Lt. Commanders?

Final thoughts

There was a lot of subplotting that didn’t make it into our review, from the Mayweather/reporter love thing to the Terra Prime spy on Enterprise to Sato taking command of Enterprise while everyone else is on Mars to the Earth “minister” (Harry Groener) who previously had been in Terra Prime. The two-parter covers an awful lot of ground — and even despite the strangeness noted above, it works pretty well.

Some consider “Terra Prime” to be the “true” finale of Enterprise, as “These Are the Voyages …” was not well-received. More on that later this week.

Coming later this week …

Trek’s least favorite finale. And no, we’re not reviewing “Turnabout Intruder”.

“In a Mirror, Darkly”

I liked you better with the goatee.
“I liked you better with the goatee.”

Part one: We’re in the evil universe — the credits tell us so! — first seen in TOS and again in DS9. This time, though, there’s nobody from our universe who’s crossed over. Humanity still has an evil empire and it dominates the other Enterprise-era species. The ship’s captain is this universe’s version of Admiral Forest (Vaughn Armstrong), and Archer is first officer. Archer takes over the ship and sets course for Tholian space where a Starfleet vessel from about a century in the future has been found. The Tholians are tearing it apart, but Archer takes a team on board to save it. Turns out it’s the Defiant, a Constitution-class ship that disappeared in Tholian space in our regular universe in “The Tholian Web” on TOS. Archer is successful in saving the Defiant, but the Tholians destroy Enterprise (killing Forest) as part one ends.

Part two: Archer and Co. escape with the Defiant, but are stuck at impulse because a Gorn(!) slave master (employed by the Tholians and still on the ship) has stolen some equipment. Archer eventually tracks the parts down and heads to Terran territory to crush (crush!) a rebellion with 23rd century technology (technology!) led by Vulcans, Andorians and others and take hold of the empire. After putting down an insurgency led by T’Pol and goateed Soval on another Terran ship, Archer’s plan almost works. But Sato — his consort and Forest’s before — poisons and kills Archer and declares herself Empress Sato in orbit of Earth.

Ladies and gentlemen... Enterprise's only official red shirt!
Ladies and gentlemen… Enterprise’s only official red shirt!

Why it’s important

Well, this one was borderline for us. It’s another example of Fan Service Gone Wild — and the information about the mirror universe here doesn’t really play into what we see later. But we do see more here about some key races from TOS (the Tholians and the Gorn) and it ties into two episodes of TOS and “Star Trek: First Contact”.

And, hell, like Enterprise as a series was in early 2005, we’re nearing the end of our run — and we just wanted to review this one as there’s a lot to talk about.

Peak Fan Service™: Archer, in a Kirk wrap-around tunic, fighting a Gorn.
Peak Fan Service™: Archer, in a Kirk wrap-around tunic, fighting a Gorn.

What doesn’t hold up

The hardest thing to swallow is that humans apparently got their hands on 23rd-century technology in the 22nd century but only had 23rd-century technology in “Mirror, Mirror” … which occurred in the 23rd century. Apparently, the Terran Empire in Kirk’s time wasn’t just corrupt and on track to collapse. It was technologically stagnant — provided Kirk’s Enterprise wasn’t the Terran Empire equivalent of a garbage scow.

Also, T’Pol and Soval in part two are just WAY too emotional. There are also plenty of other small things — like the Enterprise firing while cloaked in part one or the ridiculous uniforms worn by Starfleet crew women. And the Gorn looks NOTHING like what we see in “Arena”. But my biggest problem is what the creators do with mirror-Archer in part two.

In part one, he’s a conniving guy who’s finally got his shot to make it big. In part two, he’s a whiny, off-the-hinge nut job! Scott Bakula’s performance “Great men are CONQUERERS!” was just way, way, way over the top.

On the shooting script it literally said "See script for Ridley Scott's Alien"
On the shooting script it literally said, “See script for Ridley Scott’s ‘Alien'”.

Final thoughts

Despite Bakula going too far with the scenery chewing — he really likes saying technology! —  there’s a lot of good stuff here. Giving Sato something to do (for once) was great, even if it was the evil version of her. And many of the evil versions were fun takes. I particularly liked the radiation-scarred Tucker.

There is an interesting line that I wanted to address. At one point, evil Archer and evil Sato, on board the Defiant, look at the bios of their good-universe selves. Interestingly, good-universe Archer is said to be the “greatest explorer of the 22nd century.” Frankly, this is pretty silly.

By this stage of Enterprise, Archer hasn’t distinguished himself as an explorer. Really, he was more of a statesman and a diplomat — or even a soldier. There are even meta lines about this in the third and fourth seasons that are clear indications the creators knew and understood this. Granted, Archer’s exploratory accomplishments could come after the series ends …

It also was very cool to see a Gorn and a Tholian (no one said the season of fan service didn’t have its charms). And the recreation of the Defiant, of course, was exceptionally well done. Archer wearing a Kirk-style wraparound — which William Shatner wore in the original series at times to disguise his weight fluctuations — was great.

I’ve heard some fans say this is Enterprise’s peak, and I’ll grant that the two-parter is a lot of fun (even if part two sort of goes off the hinge). But I’d say the end of the Xindi arc or the Vulcan three-parter were better. Enterprise, despite all its flaws, was a strong enough show where events that actually happened to our normal characters were more compelling than events that happened in alternative universes or reset timelines. Voyager, OTOH …

And if we’re talking about universes or reset timelines, I frankly like “Twilight” from Enterprise’s third season better. We’ll get to that in our series wrap up in a couple weeks.

Are you not amused?!
“I said ‘It’s green!’ Are you not amused?!”

Coming next week …

Our last two reviews of Enterprise. It’s been a long road …