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    Contrived Hostage Story Offers Little New as Archer Convolutes STAR TREK Principles in "The Communicator", Says Deus

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    Typhon Station is a very fastpaced PBeM RPG with skilled, experienced players and a warm sense of bonding and community. We play at the turn-of-the-century, 2400, and are located in the Typhon Expanses, bordering the Neutral Zone, proximate to the Romulan Empire, and near the Iconian Digs, and are on the first warning route of the original Borg Incursion.
    We have three stations to post from, SB 185, USS Odyssey, and USS Wraith. They all have general and particular storylines and all interact. This game is not for the faint of heart! The writing is superb and comes hot and heavy. We have some open spots and also we will consider character suggestions. So, longtime RPGers and novices, check us out. See if you want to make Typhon Station your home away from home.

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    Posted: 07:45:52 on November 14 2002
    By: Steve Krutzler
    Dept: ENTERPRISE Reviews | www.stenterprise.com

    Reviews Ex Deus

    Written by O. Deus, edited by Steve Krutzler

    "The Communicator"

    Summary: Reed loses his communicator on a planet resulting in the return of the 'Archer taken prisoner' storyline.

    "The Communicator" takes its story idea from an Original Series episode, "A Piece of the Action," in which Dr. McCoy forgets his communicator on the surface of an alien planet and the crew speculates that the aliens could use it to reproduce a lot of the Federation's technology. Of course the Enterprise continues on its way regardless and no one could seriously imagine Kirk being willing to die for a communicator, let alone sacrifice members of his crew, which in part is why the Original Series was a much more fun show to watch than Enterprise is and why Kirk was a Captain you might actually want to serve under.

    Following the lead of last week's episode, the B-plot is a mildly amusing story about Trip getting the cloaking device on his hands. Literally. Of course the cloaking device is actually a technological device that cloaks things in its radius by drawing power and can be turned on and off. It's not magic invisibility dust. Which is essentially what "The Communicator" pretends it is. And you also have to wonder why a piece of advanced technology like this is still being kept in storage on board Enterprise ever since the first episode, instead of being sent back to Earth or turned over to somebody.

    In "The Communicator," Reed's missing communicator triggers a search effort by the Enterprise crew, not an unreasonable thing to do. Nevertheless, they trigger the suspicion of the innkeeper and some military officers and choosing to use their fists rather than their phasers in a fight in which they're outnumbered, Archer and Reed unsurprisingly end up in lockup. Thus we have the return of the first season's favorite storyline, Archer in captivity. The second season until now had been delightfully free of the latest incarnation of this storyline, and granted this is a plot always guaranteed to maximize viewer suspense as millions of people all over America and the world stare at their television sets in tense anticipation wondering whether the Captain will be rescued at the last minute or killed, thus ending the series for good. The result is completely unpredictable each and every single time.

    Still to maximize suspense, the episode throws out a contrived deadline for Archer and Reed's execution that really makes no sense, except as a way of building tension for a last minute rescue. Archer and Reed just gave the appearance of cracking by telling the General some important information about the enemy's plans. So rather than interrogating them further and getting the whole story, he decides to have them both killed and their organs cut out for examination. He decides to have it done to both of them, even though one set of organs would probably suffice for medical reasons. It's a very logical plan, if you happen to be Dr. Evil.

    But then once you get past the Prime Directive issue, "The Communicator" offers just another rewind of the same plot for the same episode that every Star Trek and non-Star Trek series has been doing for years. Substitute 'drug smugglers' for 'militaristic aliens' and 'police officers' for 'Starfleet officers' and odds are that you've seen this same plot more times than you've seen Spock's ears. Up to now the second season has been showing creativity in even its weakest episodes: "A Night in Sickbay" may have been bad for a number of reasons, but it was certainly creative and different from the usual Star Trek episodes. As were "Carbon Creek," "Marauders," "Dead Stop" and "The Seventh." Stylistically innovative episodes that were clearly making serious attempts to be different than the kind of Star Trek episode we've learned to expect. The same cannot be said for "Communicator," which brings out all the usual cliches and whose only redeeming moment is T'Pol's closing speech.

    The episode is supposedly about the importance of the Prime Directive, and although it's not openly referred to as such, Archer appears to have adopted it wholesale to the extent that he's willing to sacrifice Reed and himself to uphold it. It is rather odd that Archer would be more fanatical about the Prime Directive than later starship captains like Kirk and even Picard. It's hard to imagine either of these characters willing to let a member of his crew be killed outright, rather than doing what he could to save him. Even the Vulcans themselves weren't willing to go that far in "Carbon Creek." But despite a last minute plea to let Reed live, that's essentially what Archer is willing to do in "The Communicator."

    Ironic, however, is that Archer is too hopelessly dim to realize that his earnest efforts to hide their true identities actually end up making things a thousand times worse as he leads his captors to believe that their enemies have advanced weaponry in their possession. In the good faith belief that he's actually making things better, rather than much worse, with each and every word, he assures them that they're prototypes, which of course tells the general that it's important to attack the Alliance as soon as possible before they actually have weapons like that in the hands of every enemy soldier, thus making war inevitable. Although they don't currently have nuclear weapons the jet planes and the reconnaissance aircraft suggest they will soon enough. The planet might have survived first contact, but they're a lot less likely to survive nuclear war.

    The only thing surprising is that the episode actually seems to realize some of this and allows T'Pol to deliver, what is for Enterprise, a surprisingly insightful closing speech. More insightful certainly than Archer's canned justifications for the Prime Directive. Not only does Archer begin with the rather questionable claim that technological sophistication is equivalent to social maturity so that first contact should depend on a species' level of technology, a premise for which there are plenty of counter-examples beginning with the Klingons themselves, but he goes on to claim that Earth circa first contact was ready for it. Apparently it was the kind of social maturity that involves a post-war planet that still has internal warfare and wide swatches of post-war devastation proving its worthiness by having an old drunk build a warp capable ship out of spare parts. But then "The Communicator" isn't meant to be a discussion of the Prime Directive, the Prime Directive is just a surface coat of point over an old plot that mainly serves to showcase Archer heroically facing his death before being rescued at the last second. It's certainly an improvement over a sleepless Archer threatening to wreak havoc on the aliens who let Porthos catch a virus, but as a story "The Communicator" is a contrived retread.

    Next week: Enterprise's crew catches the space flu and discovers the dangers of trying to fly a starship under the influence of supposedly 'non-drowsy' cold medications.

    Reminder! ENTERPRISE story editor and science consultant Andre Bormanis will answer your questions tonight in a LIVE chat here at TrekWeb! The chat will begin at 7p PT/10p ET and you may submit questions now.

    Opinion Poll: Don't forget to rate this episode in this week's opinion poll!

    About the Authors


    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 and columns for TrekWeb for over two years.

    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 and contributes reviews when his busy schedule permits.

    TrekWeb Reviews


  • "The Catwalk"
  • "Precious Cargo"
  • "Vanishing Point"
  • "Singularity"
  • "The Communicator"
  • "The Seventh"
  • "Marauders"
  • "A Night In Sickbay"
  • "Dead Stop"
  • "Minefield"
  • "Carbon Creek"
  • "Shockwave, Part II"
  • Season One Re-cap (Deus)
  • "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)

    STENTERPRISE.com Mission Logs



    Season Two (2002-2003)
    Prod #Title Airdate
    128 Shockwave, Part II 9/18/02
    127 Carbon Creek9/25/02
    129 Minefield10/02/02
    131 Dead Stop10/09/02
    130 A Night In Sickbay10/16/02
    132 Marauders10/30/02
    133 The Seventh11/06/02
    134 The Communicator11/13/02
    135 Singularity11/20/02
    136 Vanishing Point11/27/02
    137 Precious Cargo12/11/02
    138 The Catwalk12/18/02
    139 Dawn1/08/03
    140 Stigma2/05/03
    141 Cease Fire2/12/03
    142 Crash Landing2/19/03
    143 Canamar3/??/03
    144 The Crossing3/??/03
    Season One (2001-2002)
  • TREKWEB TALKBACK
    (45 comments)

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    Contrived hostage story
    By Red Shirt () at 12:34:27 on November 20 2002
    URL: | User Info
    How many times was Kirk taken hostage/held against his will? I am a little bored with this re-occuring line with Enterprise too but the incarceration conflict vehicle is prominate in TOS so don't be too hard on ENT.

    [ Reply to This | Parent Comment ]

    TOS revived...
    By Noxmagic () at 02:34:47 on November 17 2002
    URL: | User Info
    Well, after watching "The Communicator" for the second time today, it seems obvious to me that this episode was intended to be something of a "throwback." By this I mean it looks and feels like a TOS episode. By looks, I'm refering to the dress of the aliens of the week who held Archer and Reed captive, along with the style of their surroundings. Certainly, as usual for Ent., the directing, lighting, and special effects were top notch, in no way simular to TOS'. More importantly though, Communicator was a "throwback" episode due to how its storyline unfolded. A member of Archer's crew does something foolish while they are exploring a new world, thus forcing Archer to personally try and make up for said crew member's mistake. In true Kirk fashion, he heads back down to the planet himself, where an obligitory brawl ensues. After giving a good fight, Kirk, er, Archer is subdued and captured, leaving his crew to figure out how to e him. Of course, in the end, despite needing assistance in breaking free, the good captian aids in his escape and ends up fixing the problem that led to his capture in the first place. All Archer needed was an alien woman to swoon for him, and Communicator would have pretty much been a TOS episode. Personally, this episode worked for me, although I do feel it had some shortcomings. I do not like that Communicator is, as Deus pointed out, a direct retooling of a TOS episode. Perhaps the writers went too far in wanting to creat an Ent. episode with a TOS feel. I also did not like the comedic Tripp "I can't find my arm" B story line. It took away from whatever gravity the episode was trying to create. Perhaps this storyline would have worked if this initially unfortunate accident turned out to be key in saving Archer and Reed. Better yet, why not use Travis for this storyline? Tripp certainly does not need the extra help in getting screen time or over with the fans. Most fans of Ent. seem to like him. Sadly, the same can't be said for Travis. Perhaps if he is given more screen time, where interesting things happen to him (thus giving the actor a chance to show what he can do), then maybe Travis can at least stop being hated by legions of Trekkers. Overall, though, I thought the episode was a solid one. I do like that they still have the Suluban cell ship. Showing that they do makes sense, since where else would it be right now? They have not returned to Earth, and I don't see Star Fleet wanting to give up the vessel to the Vulcans for study or safe-keeping, if only because the Enterprise's having it allows Star Fleet to finally have something on the Vulcans. Besides, Star Fleet probably figures that when Enterprise returns home, it can take possession of it then to study, and maybe gain a bonanza in new technology. Hopefully, though, Ent.'s writers will address the ultimate fate of this cell ship. My hope is that it is shown to be destroyed, or perhaps retrieved by the Suluban, before Enterprise returns to Earth. This is because the cloaking technology it possesses should not fall into the hands of humans so early in history. I suppose, however, that if it is shown to be turned over to Star Fleet one day, or if it is simply ignored so that we would have to assume that once Ent. returnes to Earth that it would have been turned over to Star Fleet, that this cloaking technology will have become obsolete by Kirk's time, thus explaining its not being used by the Federation. Another characteristic I liked about Communicator was how Archer was shown to show judgement that probably could be questioned (as Deus pointed out, his deciding that Reed and himself should fight their way out of the bar instead of stunning everyone...hey, the damage had been done by then, right?) but overall he was willing to give everything, even his own life, to not pollute the culture or natural development of the AOTW. Sure, Star Fleet does not yet have a Prime Directive, but after last season's episode where he decided to not help one of a planet's dying species because their demise was part of their natural development, Archer had taken non-interferance to heart. Its nice that Ent.'s writers are creating episodes like this, because it shows how the Prime Directive is formed. Evidently, Archer's command decisions will be key in Star Fleet creating the Prime Directive. Easily the best scene in the episode was the last, where T'Pol told Archer (I get the feeling he already knew what she was going to tell him) that they had probably severly contaminated the AOTW's culture, to the point where they might have severly altered their future. I would love to see if this affects whether or not Archer deems it worthwhile to send away missions to pre-warp planets ever again, considering what happened this latest time around. Hopefully, though, Communicator is not a symptom of Kirk/Picard disease (the captain being kidnapped or captured ever other episode).

    [ Reply to This | Parent Comment ]

    Agreed 100%. (ntm)
    By Jadziamidala () at 20:34:55 on November 16 2002
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    .

    ---

    ...From the ashes.

    [ Reply to This | Parent Comment ]

    Is it just me...
    By Spockjaw () at 18:16:09 on November 15 2002
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    ...or did those rifles just look...wrong?

    [ Reply to This | Parent Comment ]

    Don't be a blind ST lover
    By Spot () at 21:43:06 on November 14 2002
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    I will say it again:

    1)Enterprise is a show with no logic. In the episode, Tpol could have rescued Archer using spear and sword and still would not have any scratch on her.

    2)Enterprise is a show with no scientific bases. Iron is toxic? An ordinary soldier realizes the scanner is a computing device? I doubt they even know what a computer is. The episode clearly ignores the progression of technological development.

    3)Enterprise is a show lacks creativity. With every recycle, the quality of the story slips.

    4)Enterprise is a show with no theme. What is the show about? Transporter? Cloaking device? Phaser? Hologram? Replicator?

    For those who can enjoy craps, without knowing the plot holes, or those who can tolerate craps, knowing the plot holes, you should really see what kind of junk you have on you hand. It is as if a shirt was poked with holes all over it, and you still love it.

    For those who loves the brand name "Star Trek", please wake up. Enterprise is no Star Trek if the quality maintain like this. If Paramount decided a junk to be named Star Trek, is the junk Star Trek?

    [ Reply to This | Parent Comment ]

    When it happens on TNG we buy it...
    By rumandchocolate () at 18:33:09 on November 14 2002
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    "Of course the cloaking device is actually a technological device that cloaks things in its radius by drawing power and can be turned on and off. It's not magic invisibility dust. Which is essentially what "The Communicator" pretends it is."

    Well, if memory serves, in TNG's "The Next Phase," both Geordi and Ro were cloaked/phased as a result of being covered in "magic invisibility dust." Their proximity to the device had no effect on their condition. And, in fact, they were later made visible when Data sprinkled them with "magic de-invisibility dust."

    Granted, everything we've come to understand about cloaking devices in the 23rd and 24th centuries has been that it's a machine that emits an energy field that hides the ship/person/planet. But why does a Suliban cloaking device (which may or may not utilize technology from the far future) *have* to work exactly the same way?

    Can't it be different? Can't it possibly accomplish the same thing by using a different method?

    As for your assessment of the rest of the show, I don't think you're being entirely fair.

    Archer's willingness to die in order to protect these aliens may seem a little overboard to us... after all, we've seen how future commanders (Kirk, Picard, etc.) would handle similar situations. But Archer doesn't have that luxury.

    Every one of us has dealt with superiors who struggle to find the right balance... they go from one extreme to another in their behavior. Haven't you never had an overly lenient boss who suddenly became overly rigid?

    Archer's the first, and he hasn't found the right balance, yet. This is part of what I like about the show... the captain isn't infallible. He has an enormous responsibility on his shoulders and knows his importance in human history (and not just because of anything Daniels told him). He's trying to make the right first impression, but hasn't quite figured out what sort of impression he wants to make. He's trying to do the right thing, but has realized that determining the right thing isn't easy.

    This is human. This is natural. Kirk had a hundred years' worth of Starfleet captains who preceded him to help him figure out how to act. Cut Archer some slack.

    [ Reply to This | Parent Comment ]

    Give them credit.
    By Hbasm () at 18:03:35 on November 14 2002
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    I can't see the episodes so soon and therefore I can't offer my opinion about them until it's too late here.

    But considering the amount of 'bad' votes compared to only a few 'poor' and 'mediocre' votes, I have to wonder if the poll is being hacked. You may disagree with me, when I say I love Enterprise, but you can't argue that the episodes deserve better than the lowest vote in a poll.

    Do you think the other ST series did better in general? In terms of writing quality? They didn't, and people were bitching just as they do now, but I don't think the polls were so split between love and hate.

    I realize I'm repeating words already said here, but I'm surprised that you aren't showing a better understanding of the idea behind Star Trek and don't appriciate -at all- that you are being offered a new series with exactly the kind of content it should have, content that meets the philosophy of Star Trek, and vote something reasonable when judging the episode's overall quality.

    Have you tried to go back and watch some early episodes of TNG or DS9? Tell me those episodes were better. Just because we're in the year 2002, do you think it's fair to hammer the producers of Enterprise because their stories aren't 1000 times better? Is it fair to demand that from human beings? Humans aren't smarter now than they were 10 years ago. The only thing that you can expect to be better, is the CGI effects. And they ARE better now.

    You're getting tired of television. See? You probably watch it too much. Watching too many different series. If people 10 years ago saw the current Star Trek, they'd love it. Just because we're in the year 2002, doesn't make the episodes any worse. It's YOU who have a problem.

    [ Reply to This | Parent Comment ]

    These soldiers have much bigger problems than enemy prototypes . . .
    By Locutus () at 14:53:18 on November 14 2002
    URL: | User Info
    I am utterly astonished that the writers did not have at least one crewmen or nonessential get shot in that final shootout. Once again another missed opportunity to bring to bare some of the more poignant ethical dilemmas of an otherwise unmotivating and unoriginal plot.

    And, by the way, I think these aliens have a lot more to worry about than enemy prototypes. These soldiers are in for a world of pain if ten of them can't hit a big, lumbering captain archer as he runs directly by their gunfire. I mean c'mon; Archer's tactical maneuvers weren't that spectacular. These are their best trained soldiers [i mean they are officers, right]! How about a few hours on a firing range.

    I dunno . . . maybe their hand-eye coordination just isn't as good as us humans?

    [ Reply to This | Parent Comment ]

    Universal Communicator
    By Cpt J T Kirk (tremethick@hotmail.com) at 13:51:54 on November 14 2002
    URL: | User Info
    I liked the episode. It was more interesting than others. I was a little taken aback about how Archer and Malcolm could communicate with the locals stripped of their communicators. I thought that was explained last season that this is how they can communicate with other species.

    Also, how can a societ develop without iron? Toxic?

    ---

    "No Aquaman, you cannot marry the queen of Atlantis, she has no gills!" BOOM!! "I've wasted my life.."
    -Simpsons Comic Store guy before being vaporized in Atomic Explosion.

    [ Reply to This | Parent Comment ]

    Eh, it was okay
    By Theo () at 13:02:30 on November 14 2002
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    I am just realizing that I am not a big fan of Enterprise. I am much more of a TOS/TNG/DS9 fan than ENT/VOY.

    I can't pinpoint it, but something about ENT just doesn't do it for me. I think it is because certain things annoy me about it. The cloaking for one (that whole Trip thing was funny, but so is a pie in the face.. that doesn't mean it belongs in ENT). They really need to get rid of that Suliban ship. It needs to blow up or get lost. Reverse engineering that technology is a contitunity breaker in my book.

    No one getting killed or hurt/shot was another thing... in TOS/TNG/DS9, people died.. lets have some nobody's die and see how Archer deals with it.

    Although I liked the final "idea" of the episode, I didn't like the way it got there.

    It didn't explore enough of the impact that ENT had on that planet. I would have like the writer's to spent more time discussing the reprecussion of the visit and less of the shoot out, interrogation scenes.

    And what was with Archer/Reed just up and attacking the guards in the bar. That attack just came out of left field. Why not try and run back into that hallway and see if there was another way out? Or buy time for a fast communication to the ship?

    Maybe the show will get better.. it certainly has a few really good shows, but they are few and far between.

    [ Reply to This | Parent Comment ]

    Edzo's Points
    By Edzo (lordedzo@hotmail.com) at 12:17:55 on November 14 2002
    URL: | User Info
    In response to OD's scathing (as usual) review:

    McCoy *may* have left his communicator behind on Sigma Iotia II (it was never confirmed), and just because Kirk jokes about it at the end of "A Piece of the Action" — and you next see the Enterprise flying away — doesn't mean the crew didn't: 1) go back and retrieve the communicator; 2) beam it up; or 3) deactivate it remotely (but who knows if they could do that in the 23rd century).

    So much for subsequent Starfleet crews following up on Archer's example to go back and retrieve the "contamination." Why did the Horizon crew leave behind all those books in "A Piece of the Action"? Did they figure, "Oh, it's not technology, so no one will care"?

    I actually understand why B&B had to let Archer makes things worse by lying to the aliens. If bad things like this don't happen, then Starfleet won't eventually be moved to adopt a Prime Directive. And then you won't have Kirk and Picard pontificating on the merits of the PD in their respective centuries.

    I'd love to have Enterprise return to this planet in a few years and find out what happened. Barring that, it would make a terrific ENT or TOS novel.

    I was a little surprised that Enterprise kept the "Broken Bow" Suliban pod and not the one from "Shockwave, Part II." It should have been the other way around — give the first one to Starfleet and keep the second one. Looks like they did it ass-backwards; but at least Starfleet got a bonus — Silik as prisoner for interrogation.

    ---

    Edzo!

    "Considering the rate at which you imbibe, sir, is your lineage at all mixed with human?"

    --Data to Mr. Homn, TNG's "Haven"

    [ Reply to This | Parent Comment ]

    I liked the Episode
    By Weyune () at 12:13:02 on November 14 2002
    URL: | User Info
    I don't know why you all hated the episode. Sure their are small flaws here and there - but it seems like none of you like any episodes!

    I enjoyed this episode. I am starting to like Reed a little more as well.

    As wrong as the cloaked arm was, it was still fun to watch.

    ---

    "This man thinks like me"

    -- Rico the Columbian Drug Lord, in "Crocodile Dundee II"

    [ Reply to This | Parent Comment ]

    Another loser
    By Michaelj () at 11:53:08 on November 14 2002
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    After a nearly a lifetime of affection for the Trek franchise, I can report that this turgid mess put me to sleep by the third act. Goofy as the TOS episode "A Piece of the Action" was, it had more geniune wit and entertainment value in its last five minutes than all of this season's worth of ENTERPRISE episodes combined.

    I had initially held out some hope for ENTERPRISE in spite of its pedigree and doubts about its premise, but what a train wreck this series has become in its second year. For all its mediocrity, VOYAGER was at least "geniune" Star Trek with regards to its continuity with the rest of the franchise. (DS9 arguably had roughly the opposite situation.) ENTERPRISE lacks even that, alternating weak stories with those like last week's "The Seventh" that completely flout the conventions of Roddenberry's myth, alienating whatever fan base still remains.

    For me, Paramount can't pull the plug fast enough. What a shame.

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    I Liked It
    By tblade1701 (tblade1701@aol.com) at 10:28:06 on November 14 2002
    URL: | User Info
    I Have 1 question....Why does Trekweb let a critic who so obviously hates Enterprise to begin with review EP's...I mean really, you can feel the hate pulsing through the screen.
    Anyway....I liked this Ep. was it perfect....no....but I think that’s kind of what it was supposed to be about...they make mistakes.... it’s easy for us to sit or our couches and say…I would have done this or that...try being a Starfleet officer for 10 min.....I bet It would be tough...most people can't decide what to make for dinner...forget about what to do about something that may effect an entire species...as irresponsible as most people are I think it's good to see a story about responsibility of 1's actions.
    Also the Ep. had a very TOS feel to it which I liked...and as far as the cell ship went....I believe it was there from the beginning of this season...not last....and the B story about Tripp’s arm...the doc said it was a surge of the cloaking devices radiation...if that's what it was...I'm willing to suspend disbelief and say it's possible the radiation to throw surrounding objects out of phase.
    I think maybe some people should watch Enterprise with an open mind....this is television BTW it's meant to be enjoyed.


    ---

    A situation arises that a lot of past characters are brought together on the NCC-1701. In the transporter room someone remarks to Mr. Spock how ironic it is that there all together like this,to which Mr. Spock replies "No it's not ironic...it's contrived"

    [ Reply to This | Parent Comment ]

    regression
    By psp1 () at 09:41:46 on November 14 2002
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    After showing some progress, the writers came up with this pile of steaming poop. The episode was barely coherent, and Archer once again demonstrates his total incompetence.

    Archer is so completely useless that it actually reflects badly on Starfleet. Was he sent out with no training at all? Did anyone prepare him for contact with alien species? One would expect that these scenarios would be anticipated, and some training would be provided to military/diplomatic officers. Instead, we get an episode of 'Klutzes in Space'. I was expecting Miss Piggy to make a guest appearance.

    Horrible- what a terrible regression from some promising improvement.

    ---

    psp1

    [ Reply to This | Parent Comment ]

    Plotholes and contrivances big time
    By MikeNinNH () at 08:27:09 on November 14 2002
    URL: | User Info
    A few random thoughts:

    1) The use of the Cell Ship was implausible crutch for scriptwriters who didn't have the creativity to come up with a better way to sneak into the prison compound (though given how many times they've had to sneak into someplace to save Archer's butt, they're bound to run out of ideas). It's almost as if you can hear the screenwriters say, "Well, if this was DS9/TNG/Voyager, we could use a cloaked ship to get in, but they don't have a cloak in this time period. Wait! Did we ever establish what happened to that Cell Ship from back in the pilot episode?" It's also implausible that it would be kept on board the ship rather than being sent for study; that the Suliban wouldn't attack to take it back, or that they wouldn't have grabbed it that time they took over the ship during "Shockwave"; or that, ignoring all that, Trip could figure out the last few things in a few hours when after a year he hadn't yet.

    2) Next time someone takes Archer captive, let them keep him. Sooner or later someone's gonna get killed rescuing someone who obviously can't keep from getting into this kind of trouble. How can a captain build crew loyalty when he keeps getting stuck in these situations?

    3) If T'Pol was concerned so much about cultural contamination, why would she authorize a rescue attempt in the first place?

    4) Did anyone think of using the transporter to beam them home, or to beam in a rescue party? Given the difference in technology levels, couldn't the Enterprise sensors pick up the duranium or circuitry or whatever in the Communicator so they could beam THAT up? Granted, Enterprise sensor abilities seem to vary from week to week, depending on who is writing the script.

    5) Using the cloaking system as magic invisibility dust shows that the writers can't deal with keeping continuity with how cloaking systems work that was established in TOS's "Enterprise Incident" and carried all the way through Voyager. This while other pseudo-technology is given fairly continuous treatment makes the error jump out all the more.

    6) Should surgical implants peel off so easily? Shouldn't that HURT and/or cause bleeding? "Implant" usually infers actually attaching or putting something into the body.

    7) The bad guys have automatic machine guns, there's a whole bunch of them, and none of our heroes even gets winged? That's right up there with mortar shells exploding 5 feet from Rambo without effect. This reminds me of the Star Wars Stormtrooper paradox: supposedly the best of the best, yet they can't hit the broad side of a wall.

    All in all, this episode just sucked.

    ---

    -----
    "How did you get in here??"
    "I'm a locksmith, and... I'm a locksmith".
    - "Police Squad"

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