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"Fortunate Son" Lacks Punch and Turns In Another Bland ENTERPRISE, Says Steve Perry

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Posted: 08:15:53 on November 22 2001
By: Steve Krutzler
Dept: ENTERPRISE Reviews |

Trek in Review
Written for TrekWeb by Steve Perry, edited by Steve Krutzler

"Fortunate Son"

Another episode, another nice insight into life into the future, some more nice character work... and another plot a few wrinkles short of exciting. Yawn.

Enterprise continues to do everything but the seemingly easy stuff right. Usually sci-fi movies and shows have excitement, if anything. Enterprise can develop characters, give a patina of realism to what it is doing, and have dialogue that's at least passable, but for the third time already it's put together an episode about ten minutes short on plot.

Usually in such instances I have plenty of suggestions. Here not so. Like the writers, I suppose, I find the concept of boomer life interesting, but I wonder what could be done to make it an exciting episode. Perhaps have Archer and company stuck in the cargo hold for a substantial period of time? I don't know. Maybe make it less self-contained? If long-term issues of the Nausicaans versus the boomers, including those on the Horizon, are touched upon briefly on occasion, it might make the resolution here more satisfying. I mentioned a few weeks back how it would be nice to have an episode occasionally more arc-like. Maybe this is what I meant - it could use a B and C plot that continued along with this, and an A plot that wasn't tied up nicely wouldn't hurt either.

My big quibble is that the Nausicaans simply weren't scary - not only has the makeup been redone, but suddenly they speak fluent English and will listen to compromise. Boo. Between that and Ryan being so obnoxious, there wasn't a good bad guy. Ryan's principles were understandable, but he viewed his ship with a bit too much insularity, to the point that a steak dinner became a melodrama.

My other big quibble is Archer. I understand that he sees us as ambassadors of sorts and wants to make a good impression on aliens, even if they are Nausicaans. This is noble, and is a motivation that would not naturally occur to me. But that train of thought felt somehow compacted. He rather quickly made it clear to the Fortunate that he wanted the hostage released, suggesting that he cared more for his well being than the well being of the Fortunate's crew.

It seems like he should have wrestled with the issue some as well. This episode was a little better on the shades of grey, makng the Fortunate's dilemma one not easy to solve, even if Ryan was far too zealous to be reasoned with. I wanted something provoking real emotion - maybe a massacre, by one side or the other. This felt like an isolated incident with an isolated resolution.

So, for the third time this season, we've got an episode nominally decent that inspires little good or bad from me. I can remember Voyager episodes with twisting plots that left you confused, with paper thin characters (Harry "I play the clarinet" Kim, etc). I haven't been confused by a single plot twist yet, and there's nothing remotely moronic about any choice (an example of a moronic choice: Janeway in Nemesis). I can rarely find a plot hole. The problem is, sometimes I can rarely find a plot, either.

Oh, Mayweather. I have to say, I find the acting too cheerful. He's such a boy scout. Everyone else seems a little looser. I was expecting someone seedier, I suppose, being a boomer and all. I actually appreciated his dilemma, thought he handled it well, and didn't mind too much when he spoke out to try to save the day. I would have preferred something other than him talking over a comm (after all, Hoshi's already done that), but as character development, it was fair enough (I liked for example how he pointed out that Ryan's actions might endanger his own family). It's just that's he's so freakin' Wesley.

Grade: B- .... It's decent enough, just not inspiring. I may or may not watch it come rerun time.

About the Authors

Steve Perry is not the former lead singer of Journey. He is, however, a long time fan of all Trek, yes, even Voyager. He is currently in law school.

O. Deus has been a TrekWeb visitor since the site's 1996 inception. Along with being an ardent poster, he is a freelance journalist based in New York City. Deus has written reviews for TrekWeb for over a year and shares the duties with Steve Perry.

TrekWeb Reviews

  • "Shockwave" (Deus)
  • "Two Days and Two Nights"
  • "Fallen Hero" & "Desert Crossing" (Deus)
  • "Vox Sola" (Deus)
  • "Detained" (Deus)
  • "Oasis" (Krutzler)
  • "Acquisition" (Williams)
  • "Rogue Planet" (Deus)
  • "Fusion" (Deus)
  • "Shuttlepod One" (Deus)
  • "Shadows of P'Jem" (Deus)
  • "Sleeping Dogs" (Deus)
  • "Dear Doctor" (Deus)
  • "Silent Enemy" (Deus)
  • Mid-season 1 (Deus)
  • "Cold Front" (Krutzler)
  • "Fortunate Son" (Perry)
  • "Civilization" (Perry)
  • "Breaking The Ice" (Perry)
  • "The Andorian Incident" (Perry)
  • "The Andorian Incident" (Deus)
  • "Terra Nova" (Deus)
  • "Unexpected" (Perry)
  • "Unexpected" (Deus)
  • "Strange New World" (Perry)
  • "Fight or Flight" (Perry) Mission Logs

    Season Two (2002-2003)
    Prod #Title
    128 Shockwave, Part II
    127 Carbon Creek
    129 Minefield
    Season One (2001-2002)

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