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Deus: Direction and Performances Save "Rajiin" from Completely Mediocre Fate

Posted: 07:13:24 on October 03 2003
By: O. Deus
Dept: ENTERPRISE Reviews
Reviews Ex Deus


Overall episode score: 6.0
Performances: 7.0
Writing: 3.5
Direction: 5.0
FX and Production Values: 6.5

Summary: A Xindi spy romances and probes the Enterprise crew.

"Rajiin" picks up the Xindi arc and references events in previous third season episodes like "The Xindi," "Anomaly" and "Extinction" that has Archer dealing with the aftereffects of his mutation, the Enterprise searching for a way to synthesize the hull compound suggested by the Osaarian and the council mentioning Enterprise's attack on the mine. There are more scenes of the Xindi leaders, which sketch out the agendas of the individual Xindi races a bit more and their long-term plans beyond what the premiere showed us. The Expanse still seems more like VOYAGER's Delta Quadrant than the unimaginably mysterious place that terrified both Vulcans and Klingons at the end of the last season; but the alien bazaar is nicely done both conceptually and visually. Vejar's direction shines most in the bazaar scenes filled with strange goods and animals for sale by strange species. Like "Broken Bow" and "The Seventh"'s takes on STAR WARS' Mos Eisley, it's an effective evocation of interspecies trade and mingling. And what 24th century Earth should probably look like but never does.

Like the behind the scenes looks at the Suliban's interactions with Future Guy, the Xindi council scenes serve to position the conflict as being something greater than just isolated threats to the Enterprise. But at the same time the council also seems to be following the classic pattern of bad aliens/reasonable aliens subdividing the threat into the same categories of evil enemies and ones that can be negotiated with that have served as the resolution for many a STAR TREK episode. It would have been more interesting if their positions hadn't been quite as biased to appearances, if perhaps the humanoid Xindi had been the most ruthless while the insectoid Xindi had been the most sympathetic to the humans. It would have put forwards the traditional STAR TREJ message of disassociating outward appearances from inner humanity. Much in the same way that TOS's "Devil in the Dark" recontextualized the monster to show a mother, it might have also been interesting if instead of being an attractive woman, "Rajiin" had been something that outwardly looked like a monster. It would have had real possibilities for changing how we think about the Xindi instead of doing yet another episode about a mysterious seductive woman with a hidden agenda and thus going where STAR TREK has already gone so very many times before.

Like other ENTERPRISE episodes in the past, "Rajiin" becomes a struggle between the high road and the low road that only tangles the story and the motivations of the characters even more. While Archer was perfectly prepared to send back the Cogenitor to a life of slavery in order to maintain good relations with an alien species, he's prepared to fight all comers in the alien bazaar in a completely alien part of the galaxy on behalf of another slave. At the end of "Cogenitor" Archer asks Trip what kind of example he's been setting, which is a really hard question to answer because a lot of the time Archer doesn't seem to know himself. Is this meant to be part of Archer's character growth in the Expanse, is he being manipulated by Rajiin, is it because he's attracted to the slave in question but he wasn't attracted to the Cogenitor? Or is Archer simply being written inconsistently because the show's writers and therefore also its characters are not operating within any kind of consistent moral framework? It's important for characters to have worthy goals but without a consistent understanding of how they solve problems in order to achieve those goals, stories become exercises in plot contrivance.

But "Rajiin" suffers from the same problem that the series does as a whole. This is, after all, the show that featured the first Vulcan to serve on board a human starship even as they paraded her around in skimpy clothing at every opportunity. This is also the season which took Trip's post traumatic disorder suffered after the death of his sister and turned it into an opportunity for a topless massage. ENTERPRISE wants to do serious stories but it also wants to desperately appeal to the lowest common denominator with desperate tactics like these. And the two are not all that compatible, particularly because unlike when in the Original Series, it smacks of a kind of cynical desperation that treats the audience with contempt while scrambling for ratings. It's no surprise that "Rajiin" seems to place as much emphasis on the deliberations of the Xindi council as on T'Pol and Trip doing the heterosexual version of K\S fan-fic. Except, of course, for the suggestions of intimacy in Rajiin's encounters with Hoshi and T'Pol, which once again serves to present homosexual contact as threatening and a violation, rather than portraying it positively. If B&B have to stage exploitative scenes, they could at least avoid associating same sex intimacy with rape against an otherwise heterosexual character as an offensive stereotype in movies and TV shows.

If the high road in "Rajiin" holds up, it's because of an effective performance from the guest starring actress in taking a part that could easily have been reduced to a heavy breathing cliche and infusing Rajjin with a distinct personality that's always present. And overall the performances generally do hold up, as aside from the massage scene everyone manages to keep their dignity and take the material seriously aided in no small part by Vejar, STAR TREK's best director. Unlike LeVar Burton in "Extinction", whose episodes usually look good, Vejar is not only good visually but good at working with the actors to get the right performance out of them. Whether it's an alien trader doing an almost lighthearted impression of an alien trader on the original series to Rajiin's intense concentration on everything around her, "Rajiin" boasts the right performances every time. It's likely more to his credit than to Friedman's script that "Rajiin" doesn't become another "Favorite Son." And while the battle scenes don't live up to the standards of "Anomaly" or the fight scenes to the standards of "The Xindi," this fourth episode of the season manages both satisfactorily. More importantly than the action scenes are the interactions between Archer and Rajiin that play well and without which no amount of action scenes could have salvaged the episode. Ultimately Rajiin's report to the council hinges on the credibility of those scenes and as a result so does the entire episode as a whole.

Next week: What could make a Vulcan lose his or her mind?

Enterprise's "Exile"
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About the Author
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.

Past Reviews
  • Exile
  • Impulse
  • Rajiin
  • "Extinction"
  • "Anomaly"
  • "The Xindi"
  • Season 2 Poll Results
  • "The Expanse"
  • "First Flight" and "Bounty"
  • "Regeneration"
  • "Cogenitor"
  • "The Breach" (Williams)
  • "Horizon" (Williams)
  • "Judgment"
  • "The Crossing"
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    Touchy touchy!
    By tomporter ( ) at 23:14:08 on October 17 2003
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    Can't one female character assault another character on the Enterprise without the author of this review seeing some sinister plot to "present homosexual contact as threatening and a violation? O. Deus should stick to reviewing Enterprise episodes and leave out the campaigning for the advancement of homosexualitly.

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    Hitting the bottom
    By theoren ( ) at 14:24:02 on October 07 2003
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    Every time when I thing they just hit the very bottom, they come up with a new stinker. I don't even know what this last episode was about. Absolutely the lowest point of Startrek ever.
    They should just cancel this embarassment, take a break and come up with a new idea for the Startrek show. I've had it!

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    By lemmiwinks ( ) at 17:25:37 on October 06 2003
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    ...this was not our culture, not our homeworld, and we don't have a say in how they live their lives. here on earth, back when the Underground Railroad was trying to free slaves, that was our people in our nation that were freeing themselves and each other.

    [ Reply | Quote | Parent ]

    By Admiral Brandon ( ) at 02:44:54 on October 06 2003
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    I feel like Rajiin made some big strides in advancing the arc that B&B has so far done a good job of maintaining without spoiling things, but the gratuitous sex they imply is very disappointing and unnecessary as Deus has pointed out. While I agree with Deus that this episode is another example of LCD scriptwriting, I'm not sure that the episode is dragged down too much by it. The episode has a number of pluses for it. The continuing deterioration of Archer under the pressures of the expanse are becoming more apparent especially seen in his dealing with his own physical recovery. Whether this deterioration is due to Archer's concerns over success on his mission or because he is genuinely being angered in his dealings in the expanse isn't yet apparent. Also, the Xindi council continues to remain a menacing threat with agendas that are starting to form and develop some interplay with the actions of Enterprise. Clearly the major strength of this episode is the nature of the betrayal that Rajiin is able to perpetrate on the crew. Her "innocence" is refreshing in the morass of the expanse, but she seems to have a plan all her own. However, it seems that the weaknesses of the episode mount to drag it down into mediocrity. For example, Rajiin's motivation isn't really ever explained and her compassion for humans seems forced and insincere. Also, we have to waste more time with topless Trip and skimpy T'pol worrying about their inevitable relationship. Lastly, the side characters (Reed, Hoshi, Phlox and Mayweather) get almost no air time.

    Overall Rajiin succeeds in keeping the arc going, but the episode could have offered the some of the intrigue and excitement of Voyager's "Basics (Pt. 1)" or "Alliances" or DS9's "The Jem Hadar". But Rajiin never succeeds in developing any suspense and instead resorts to a fast B&B resolution. I miss the excitement of good starship battle (a la "Anamoly") or MACO fighting (a la "The Xindi")(didn't those Xindi have an easy time boarding and taking what they wanted? Has anyone heard of the maximum stun setting or perhaps a little hand to hand combat?)


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    Massage scene
    By AX ( ax23000@hotmail.com) at 17:15:14 on October 05 2003
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    Oh no! A massage scene, my virgin eyes. It burns it, it burns!

    What has happened to Star Trek? A massage scene, that has nothing to do with sex? This is an outrage.

    Oh sure, most TV shows are doing sex scenes without anyone freaking out. But this is Star Trek. We hold it to a higher standard of sexlessness. I mean if I go to get a massage I would never take off my shirt--that doesn't make any sense at all, completely out of context. And after a horrible tradedy in my life why would a massage help me relax, completely illogical. And yeah, if I actually listened to the dialauge instead of just drooling over the half naked people I might realize that he scene has nothing to do with sex, and that it in fact fits perfectly with the characters. But I don't see why the writers should expect me to be that mature.

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    A good mediocre episode
    By Grand Admiral Thrawn ( grandadmiralthrawn@sbcglobal.net) at 13:58:47 on October 05 2003
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    That sums it up. Nothing extra-ordinary but nothing residing in the pits of garbage like Extinction was.
    I am surprised it got some decent ratings though.

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    By JediFonger ( ) at 21:10:58 on October 04 2003
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    re: o's comment on rating cause of sexiness. sex sells, that's the way of the market (making $).

    a coupla things.

    first @the market is that the most skin star trek has shown? i haven't watched much of either ds9 or voyager. in fact i think one of the girls was NAKED but painted. man oh man... i don't mind that @all =D. bring on the gratuitous! hehehehe

    secondly the ending bugged me big time. if the Xindi wanted to know about humans and they have the capability to rescue the Rajiin girl why not kidnap Archer? DUUUUUUH! that's the MOST illogical thread of the plot. i mean they can attach enterprise, a ship full of humans, hell all of Xindi KNOW about the ship KNOWs its coordinates... WHY NOT JUST SEND THE WHOLE FLEET OUT AND CAPTURE ENTERPRISE? that totally didn't make sense. why capture DATA about human but how come not the SPECIMENT itself!?!?!?!? they have the guns, they have ships, the number to overpower them the technology... wtf are they afraid of!?!?!?!?!? i don't get!!!!

    finally the MACO teamed was horrible. i thought when someone invades the ENTIRE MACO team should come out. just a handful with reed+archer and 3 sent to guard the quarters? and by guarding shouldnt they guard INSIDE the cell in case they transport in? what were the MACO doing? taking a shower? eating? oh no, capt, i'm taking a break. even if the ship's being boarded i'm still on break. bastards! and how come enterprise didnt unleash ALL their weapon (phase cannon+torpedoes) to try and destroy xindi ships or @least incapacitate them? as you can tell current star trek continues to suck... but i can't get enough of it (i'm addicted). even if it's bad crack it's still crack. hehheehhe.

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    Can it be?
    By Noxmagic ( ) at 10:18:07 on October 04 2003
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    Am I actually looking forward to Ent. as much as I did new episodes of TNG and DS9?
    As for Rajiin itself, and Deus' review, the one area where I strongly disagree with Deus is on the topic of Archer's motivation to help Rajiin. I think he did so because of her ability to mentally screw with his mind. Otherwise, I think he would have left her to her slave owner, much like he left the cogenitor (mis-spell?) last season. Overall, I really enjoyed this episode, but I would like to give Deus credit on what he wrote regarding the portrail of homosexuality in this episode. I never would have thought of the way it was shown in Rajiin as being stereotypical or sinister without having read your review. I think you're right on that count. Maybe Trek will do a better job in the future in showing homosexual activity in a more positive, or at least less sinister, light.

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    Not Bad
    By anti_proton ( ) at 22:54:38 on October 03 2003
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    I thought this episode was pretty good. I am thrilled with the continuity from previous shows, because it makes the characters more believable for me. I am glad this wasn't a total "sexy siren" story, also. I am one of the so called "prudes" who take issue with the focus on gratuitous sexuality in this show. In response to Noraa, my problem with the sex scences in Enterprise is not that they occur, but that in many cases, they have no intrinsic value to the story. When the sexy scenes are contrived, adolescent, non-essential to the story, then I feel as though I am being manipulated as a viewer. The very fact that the scenes are gratuitous is insulting to me, because I realize it is a manipulative attempt to "raise the ratings" AT THE EXPENSE OF THE STORY. I have no problem whatsoever with adult sexuality being included in a story, when it makes sense to do so. If one of the characters has a relationship, it makes sense. If one of the characters is sexually (or otherwise) assaulted, it may make sense. But the rub-down in the decon chamber (as an example) is illogical and prurient, and therefore, irritating to me as a viewer, because it takes away from the story.

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    I wonder?
    By Kilroy ( ) at 21:15:02 on October 03 2003
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    I wonder...
    Why are laser/phaser weapons so innacurate?
    Why does everyone else come up with the cool weapons first?
    Why does Swiss cheese have holes?
    Why do I have the feeling that the Xindi will all realize it was a "mistake"
    and they should give up this fruitless battle.
    Is T'Pol the future T'Pau? and where is the Vulcan nerve pinch?
    How does Starfleet ever get a leg up on a universe that is so far ahead of
    them technologically.
    Why can't there be an enemy that just enjoys being downright evil, with no
    redeeming qualities?

    I thought the episode was "good". I would have picked the slave girl on the bottom left.

    Kilroy was here!

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    Another Very Good Episode!!!
    By Edzo ( lordedzo@hotmail.com) at 20:01:01 on October 03 2003
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    "Rajiin" rocked.

    Unfortunately, people who watched and were soured by "Extinction" the week before may *not* have tuned in to "Rajiin," which is too bad. "Rajiin" is the kind of stuff B&B have been promising us, and in 3 out of 4 times this season, they've delivered.

    UPN, however, insists on creating these "preview" reels that totally misrepresent the episode (a holdover from the VGR days). What they marketed as some hot alien chick macking on Archer and T'Pol was nothing of the sort. It's too bad; if we fans want to see glorified sex, we'll turn to "Nip/Tuck," Showtime, porn or some other nonsense. UPN is doing nothing to draw in "sci-fi" fans with their previews, and that needs to change.

    The alien marketplace was brimming with all kinds of species we've never seen before. Bravo to Michael Westmore and his team! The "pimp" alien was particularly cool.

    The Xindi Council rocked - again. I love that stuff. I'm very intrigued by all of them and who they are and what's up.

    The Xindi boarding scene was awesome and action-packed. The Enterprise crew was vulnerable, which is good for drama.

    The actress playing Rajiin was quite good - not too soft, not too hard. Nice twist to have her working for the Xindi, and also that the pimp alien was in on it. I'm so glad and thankful she was more than just a hot piece of ass running around the ship.

    I am so loving STE this season. I'm especially loving Archer, T'Pol and Phlox. Keep up the great work! Spread the good word!


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    By Xenoclone ( chris@xenoclone.com) at 18:02:53 on October 03 2003
    URL: http://www.xenoclone.com | User Info
    You know, I read a lot of people say 'Rajiin' was a ratings stunt by using a sex-object woman. But think about it, the pot was actually somewhat feminist. We had the seemingly defenseless woman have power over the captain, and the seemingly powerful captain defenseless against the woman. I don't see how that shows women in a poor light. LOOK BEYOND THE CLOTHES. (This is a response in general, not to the reviewer.)

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    Dues you've done it again.
    By StarFleet Captain ( webknight21@msn.com) at 17:13:25 on October 03 2003
    URL: http://www.web-knight.net | User Info
    Don't you think that you ought to give more credit to FX? As I stated last week. We aren't watching a $100 million budget movie. Enterprise FX seems to be top of the line. Better than any other Sci Fi show, thats for sure. And with you Cogenitor argument, that was also unfair. Allowing the Cogenitor to stay would have had a major impact on an entire society. whereas protecting some interstellar space whore could have been calculated as a minimal risk.

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    spices for trellium-D? THAT WAS SO COOL... and something for Deus
    By lemmiwinks ( ) at 17:10:15 on October 03 2003
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    I have read Deus’ review, but not anyone else’s comments yet, so I’m sorry if I end up repeating what others have said.

    I loved this episode. It had it all. I haven’t been on the edge of my seat that much since, well, since later DS9 episodes. I don’t know if I liked it better than “Anomaly,” they both are way up there in my mind. A lot of us going into this one were probably not that happy about the premise of a “sexy temptress” boarding the ship, but right from the get go you knew that wasn’t what the episode was about. This was the first face to face confrontation with the Xindi, something we’ve all been waiting for since we met the first guy back in the season 3 opener. I’m so glad that their weaponry seems to tear the hell out of the crew (in many quite creative ways) and ours sometimes just makes them wince. Did you see when they blew up the airlock door? You could see each individual piece break apart and explode, detail that doesn’t exist in every previous Trek series, let alone most every TV series, period.

    But enough about the techno mumbo jumbo, there was so much to love about this piece of work. Trip and T’Pol, wonderful! Much cuter than the Paris and Torres pairing, if you ask me. I’m really starting to like this whole “Throw ‘em in the brig so the captain can intimidate them” thing. Bakula is doing a great job conveying the changes that the role of starship captain is going through. Very nice. I could go on, but I want to read what everyone else thinks. Just a couple things for Deus…

    Deus, the reason why Archer didn’t interfere in “Congenitor” was because that was entire civilizations culture, their way of reproducing. The alien whom he freed Rajiin from was an interstellar pimp. While disturbing the reproductive methods of entire planet would be catastrophic diplomatically, pissing off a scum bag like that is going to make him mad that he lost money, but I doubt he has the gumption or connections to take on Archer and Co. (though if he did, it may make for some interesting plot twists in the future!)

    …and Trip and T’Pol, c’mon, were you even listening to the words that they were saying? The interaction between those two appeals very much to me and I really don’t view myself as the “lowest common denominator.” The “scenes” with those two are so innocent, I’ve seen Disney movies that are raunchier. I don’t think it’s desperate as much as it is a real attempt to bring some relationships into the series, which in itself is not a desperate endeavor. And there was no indication that homosexual pairings were bad, I’m a gay man and the first time I thought of the Rajiin/Hoshi/T’Pol thing that way was when you mentioned it. Remember, Rajiin’s “encounter” with Archer was played in much the same light.

    Okay, I’ve gone on and on… I’m so charged about this series.

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    Give me a break!
    By Noraa ( noraa@mac.com) at 14:06:22 on October 03 2003
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    While I'm glad enterprise is definitely improving, a lot...and people are actually noticing it, I can't stand all the "prudes" on this board. Seriously, are you all so uptight, that a little bit of "sex" turns you off entirely from a show? The sad thing is, the neuro-pressure scenes b/w Trip and T'Pol aren't even about sex! Perhaps you are all too immature to realize this...it's not B&B's immaturity, but your own. I'm not sure if any of you have ever had a professional massage..but you naked from the waste up, for both male and females...but there is absolutely nothing sexual about the situation. Thus, I have no problem with Trip or T'Pol taking their shirts off to perform this neural pressure, it makes sense...you just can't get the same soothing and calming effect you do over clothing.

    I'm just sick of everyone whining about this "sex has no place on Star Trek" bull shit. Let me ask you something, what is worse, sex or violence? Most people would answer violence...so should violence have no place on Star Trek??? Everyone just grow up and get over yourselves...sheeze.

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    Archer's actions are not inconsistent
    By aquirius ( ) at 13:01:41 on October 03 2003
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    I take strong issue with your overlong criticism of Archer's character in this episode. You questioned his actions to protect the slave girl, and questioned why he didn't protect the Cogenitor. Let us compare the two. Both asked for asylum. Archer had to take both requests seriously. But the two cases are very different. The Cogenitor was not a slave, it was part of a natural evolution of its planets species, and the Cogenitors placement in society was based on a Federal distribution system to insure all its citizens had equal opportunity to procreate. However, Rajin was a slave that was sold to ownership and possessed like mechandise. Furthermore, the Cogenitor would never have questioned its quality of life if Trip hadn't interferred with their lifestyle. Which is why her request for asylum was denied. But Rajin hadn't been influence by the Enterprise crew when she asked for asylum. She questioned her quality of life on her own accord and determined that she needed to plead for freedom. Of course, this plea for asylum turned out to be a ruse to infiltrate Enterprise. But the point is made, that Archer's character and judgements are not written inconsistently.

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    It was OK
    By Captain Chris ( ) at 11:39:41 on October 03 2003
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    I don't know... This was a good episode, but I liked Extinction better. Although I like the concept of a story arc connecting a number of episodes, I still think an episode should be able to stand alone. Extinction can. Rajiin left too many threads hanging.

    I think the attempt to continue the stories about T'pol and Trip, and the mutations, were admirable, but seemed a bit contrived and out of place. I don't know how I would do it better, but I would at least be a little more subtle (maybe Phlox asking Trip, in passing, how his sessions with T'pol are progressing).

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    I'm not sure anyone reads these ...
    By timmer33 ( ) at 10:35:12 on October 03 2003
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    ... but here are my thoughts anyway.

    - I enjoyed this episode. Not much plot, but when you're doing an arc all you need is a few tidbits to keep you happy. The same thing applied to B5.

    - I liked the reptile Xindi. THey were pretty tough. Good weapons. Didn't fall when they got a phaser blast. Nice grenade. Saw some MACOs get annihilated. Nice.

    - Rajiin was pretty hot. She wasn't a bad actress either (like the Precious Cargo debacle).

    - Archer really seems on edge. I think he's in for a serious fall soon. Perhaps he'll kill someone to get info, and it'll turn out the guy is innocent. It would be nice to see Archer tormented in that way.

    - I think Bakula has finally found how to play this guy. Archer is WAAY better this year. Remember last year? "I'm the captain of Enterprise. We're from .... ... Earth." Terrible. Now he's much more driven, focussed and sure of himself.

    - I like how the crew is continuing to do stuff to try to survive the expanse. The trellium-d stuff was a good touch.

    - I like how the alien wanted spices. All too often they have these ridiculous demans (anti-matter, etc.) but something as simple as a spice can be exotic to another species, I'm sure (i.e. DUNE).

    - I like how Rajiin may show up again in future eps.

    - Trip doesn't seem so broken up anymore about his sister. I like how he's concerned about what people think about him and T'Pol.

    Basically I liked everything about the ep. The continuity is great. Gives it a feel like West Wing or ER. I think that's what fans of drama want.

    My only concern is now that B&B are doing this arc thing, it's like the previous 2 seasons don't really exist. Are we going to hear about the Suliban again? Future guy? Formation of the Federation (which is Paramount, guys! LOL ) Andorians? Tellarites? I don't want them to give this stuff up and focus on the Xindi. I hope they're all connected.

    Good work everyone. Extinction sucked, but this one was good. How about a little consistency! No wonder ratings are low.

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    This story wasn't predictable.
    By Hbasm ( ) at 10:26:26 on October 03 2003
    URL: http://home3.inet.tele.dk/huas/st_enterprise/ENT-page1.htm | User Info
    I had not read any spoilers and I'm impressed with the interaction between Archer and Rajiin.

    When Star Trek deals with slave women, they are always portrayed together with the bad guys. We have never seen our Captain take one with him. The fact that Rajiin ends up on Enterprise was a welcome surprise - done with dignity. I felt that Rajiin would help the crew against the Xindi in return for her freedom. I thought she was completely innocent.

    The way Archer deals with her is very satisfying. He sets a good example of what humanity is about. He is a good guy, that leaves a good impression on any good creature he meets. Rajiins gratitude was cute, but Archer doesn't let go of himself - or does he? I hope he didn't, but this question remains unanswered.

    Slowly I begin to realise, Rajiin is not innocent. It's a trap. Okay, there was something mysterical about her all the time - as she approched Hoshi, I thought perhaps she is not the female creature she looks like. But it wasn't until T'Pol was forced to cooperate that I knew something was wrong.

    In the end, Rajiin wanders between the state of being good/bad. She is being used by the Xindi, and she knows it. I hope she will return in a future episode. This episode made me care for her. There are interesting questions about her, such as what species she is, and what are her abilities. I don't think it would have worked with a monster in her place. The idea with a slave girl was nice.

    It also seems obvious that she wasn't sent to Archer and the crew solely for gathering biological scans. The Xindi seems to have access to technology from all over The Expanse. It can't be that problematic to run a discrete scan while the crew visit the alien planet, or capture them briefly to get the necessary data. The choice to let Rajiin seduce them must have been an attempt to know more about their way of living.

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    Massage therapy
    By Comm Mendez ( ) at 09:37:20 on October 03 2003
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    The episode was blown for me (interesting choice of words on my part, sorry) when I had to sit through yet another unbearable massage scene with T'Pol and Trip. What show do the producers think this is anyway, NYPD Blue? So far this whole season has been tainted by this heavy-handed exploitation of these actors. The nuances of direction and acting with other parts of the show cannot overcome the fact that the plot was just another retread.

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    By NAFF ( NATHANGSHARP@HOTMAIL.COM) at 07:33:38 on October 03 2003
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    It was as if the previous episode was a bad dream.

    Against all odds, I actually loved this week.

    Whether it was the continuity references (I nearly choked on my Diet Coke when Phlox referred to Archer's mutation from 'Extinction') or the creative style of the planet, this was certainly a welcome improvement.

    If I had kidnapped next door's cat, cut off his gonads, fried them in garlic butter and served them on a bed of rice for dinner, it would have been a more pleasurable experience than watching last week's show.

    But this week worked. Even the Trip/T'Pol storyline rang true. And Rajiin's fire-fight fall was pretty cool too. So too was the sound of the Xindi laser blasts. Direction was good - probably because we weren't finding employment for an out-of-work Trek actor.

    My main beef is with T'Pol. She doesn't seem much use to anyone on the science front. Its either Trip or Phlox that come up with the solutions. All she could do was give her weekly massage and meekly tell Trip over and over again to leave the room before the explosion.

    It was a wafer-thin plot and bore similarities to 'The Anomaly', but at least it was an episode that knew where it was going and was worth an hour of my time.

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