Matt and Sean talk about time… travel (?), altered futures, and rolling with the changes.
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I Like that intro.
Surprise surprise at the very end of season 1 of enterprise we’re also basically with 1 foot at the beginning of season 2 because we’re dealing with a 2 wo-parter today. We’re taking a look at those episodes in chronological order which is why we’re way back in Enterprise ahead of any of the other series. We’re also going to take a look at what the real world was like when these episodes originally aired. So we’re taking a look at things like movies tv shows and the news from 2002 I don’t remember anything really going on back then there was there were no world events back then.
There’s nothing going on now.
Even know if we had television you’re wondering whose eyes are doing this looking and who is doing the talking. It’s me Sean Ferrell I’m a writer I write some sci-fi I write some books for kids and with me is my brother Matthew Matt say hi.
Matt is the guru and inquisitor behind the Youtube channel undecided with Matt farrell which takes a look at emerging tech and its impact on our lives before we get into this episode. Don’t forget, there are ways you can support the podcast you can go to trekintime show. There’s a link there that will allow you to throw coins at us. There’s also simply doing what you’re doing right now listening or watching on Youtube subscribing liking sharing being good people generally taking love into the world. All of that helps the podcast. Matt how you doing you I’m doing well you got some listener comments for us before we get into the newest episode.
I’m good. Things are good. How are you.
Yeah, from the last episode which was 2 days and 2 nights we had a couple comments I thought they were pretty good from palele. Go 69 I was hoping hoshi’s boy Toy would have become a member of the crew I think he would have been a great addition to the show and compliment hoshi’s weak points.
It would have it would it definitely would have opened up Hoshi as a character and developed her in interesting ways if I mean they’ve done that on Star Trek before in next generation when Miles o’brien gets married suddenly he becomes a more.
I Thought that was very good comment.
3 hree-dimenional person he’s got a personal life. He’s got things going on giving hoshi a boyfriend who’s just hanging out in the cabin and at the end of a day where she’s just like this universal translator does all the work and then she goes back into her cab and he’s there. He’s just like so our day.
Kind of I’m kind of into that.
The second comment was from robotrav. Okay post show comment on my first runthrough I thought this 1 was supposed to be like a break from the real narrative of the show I looked at as a simple moment of comic relief which allowed me to see past the ridiculous plot problems and flocks is hilarious and. This I think is a good summary of how I felt about the show in a way but I couldn’t get past those ridiculous problems. It’s like it did feel like it was meant to be kind of ah a break from the serious.
Before they got back into what the episode we’re talking about today which is the season finale and it gets back into the heart of the main threat of the show. So it felt like it was a meant to be a break from that. But it for me. Obviously it didn’t work but I liked his comics I think it kind of was what they were trying to do.
Um, yeah. I agree and I think that for me 1 of the things that helped this episode fail was that it’s supposed to give comic relief but it’s giving comic relief after a series of episodes. Which finally felt like the show was hitting its stride and before those episodes were a lot of muddy kind of Boggy mediocre episode. So we went from a mediocre middle into finally feeling like oh we’re hitting our stride here. This is this is trek to then having the lighthearted episode. Let.
All of the air out of the balloon and it just felt like it deflated the energy as opposed to giving us a breath and for me it was like I could understand what what you’re saying what robotrave is saying here’s a moment of of levity before we get back into more serious stuff. But yeah.
It was more of a record scratch read.
It was a little bit too much like as opposed to comic relief a little bit too much of a return to what episodes 1314 felt like as opposed to oh I I can’t catch my breath. The episodes have been too intense for too long. And speaking of 2 intents for too long Today. We’re going to be talking about shock wave. This is a 2 part episode part 1 was the season finale for season 1 and part 2 was the season opener for season. Two Matt do you want to give us a quick synopsis I’m going to let the magic of wikipedia synopsis.
Right? So this.
Do all the work for you. This synopsis pay attention everybody this synopsis really encapsulates what this episode is about.
But I was just but say I haven’t read this. This is the first time I’ve seen it and I’m like is this written for somebody who’s never heard of star trek.
I Think it’s written for somebody who’s never watched television before please take it away.
Okay, so strip yourself in these this. This is 1 sentence by the way this is not even 2 sentences set in the twenty second century of the star trek science fiction universe captain archer of the nx zero one enterprise deals with a shuttle craft incident on an alien plane. And could we get a little more vague and generic.
I Thought I thought that was a magical synopsis and normally what we do in our episodes is we usually end on the note of.
Hey listeners. Do you have a question or do you have something to share or I give you a question that I’m thinking about what I’d like to do for this is invite listeners. Can you write a 1 sentence synopsis for this episode but wrong answers. Only.
Of this episode.
I want to see because technically this wikipedia entry is technically correct. But I’d like to see what our viewers would do with giving a synopsis but wrong answers only for the episodes shockwave part 1 and 2
So this episode was written by rick berman and bran and braggga and it was directed by rick k croker this is the third time that rick k croker is directing an episode. It was part 1 aired on may twenty second 2002 and it was viewed by 5 point 6 million viewers part 2 aired on september eighteenth 2002 sadly had only 4 point 8 million viewers. So there were some hundreds of thousands of people who were like oh yeah, that that cliffhanger episode.
I don’t need to know how that ends. Yeah.
I really don’t care how it ended so moving through our response to the episodes I’d like to break the conversation into 2 large parts. So that first we’ll visit what was the world like when episode 1 aired well Matt. I know you are not surprised by this at all. But you were still dancing your feet off to don’t let me get me by pink. She held that number 1 spot for quite a while and the number 1 movie. It’s a long forgottent. Project called star wars episode 2 attack of the clones made 80 million dollars and of course that franchise would go nowhere. No died died a sad death I wonder what happened to any of those characters if only there was a way to revisit that.
No, it died just no.
On television people were tuning into everybody loves Raymond which when this popped up as the number 1 show for this episode I was like oh yeah, everybody loves Raymond was a thing and 20000000 people knew it was a thing.
Which means that 15 million more people were watching that thing than this thing end in the new york times. Well when episode 1 of this 2 wo-parter aired Tom dasel was seeking a special inquiry into the september eleventh attacks. Headed for a confrontation with the white house and congressional republicans the majority leader of the democratic controlledlled senate today called for an independent commission to investigate government action before the september eleventh attacks. He said such a panel was needed for quote a greater degree of public scrutiny of public involvement. Public understanding close quote the majority leader senator tom daschle of south dakota said he would bring legislation before the senate soon to creep commission his announcement followed days of warnings from senior bush administration officials including the vice president that further terrorist attacks against the United states. Virtually certain so it was the beginning of it feels like the beginning of the first major turn away from the immediate aftermath of the september eleventh attacks and the beginning of. Not the politicization of the attacks but the beginning of the more critical look at what was going on a kind of reexamination of okay, how did this happen? What did we know and when did we know it and strangely I feel like that kind of goes hand in hand I don’t know how much of this.
A more critical look.
First episode part 1 was written post nine eleven. But the the storyline revolving as heavily as it does around the sulaban the involvement of the sulaban in previous episodes the laying out of. Storylines about the sulaban right from the beginning the tone of what that meant changed to it feels like to me post nine eleven where it went from being. They’re a creepy bad guy to they’re effectively a terror organization.
And here we are in this episode the resurgence of the terror element and the resurgence of a major plot point that was set in motion the very beginning of the series. The entire idea of what a temporal cold war is and looks like and so here we are in sometime. In March of 21 fifty 2 it kind of given star trek’s penchant for starting most episodes with a start date and in next generation deep space nine voyager is you moved through all those shows they were constantly saying star date. Dot dot this series. They either give us hard dates which are literally from our calendar or they don’t give us anything I’m not sure why they decided to do a little bit of both.
But we’ve gone from a few episodes where they were giving us hard dates in February of 21 fifty 2 and the next hard date that we get is a few episodes away which will be in April of 21 fifty 2 so I’m thinking we’re looking somewhere around the ides of March right now and the episode starts. Rather quietly with the enterprise preparing to send down a group of visitors to visit a colony a mining colony called paragon two and there was something about the the lead in to this whole visit. The the dialogue as it was written was.
Very strange it. It was it was harkening back to some of the gender issues that we’ve complained about throughout the season which is they talk about women as if as if most of the crew has never seen a woman.
Um, my favorite favorite part about this though is it’s always trip. They’re always making trip making the weird woman comments and I made a note to myself of I still find it really strange that trip is the 1 who makes these weird gender comments or.
It’s always trip trip is yeah.
Raised eyebrows when it has to do with women. It’s It’s a really weird casting that they’re doing here for his character considering this is supposed to be at a certain point in our future where we’re supposed to have gotten past that and yet it’s acting like it’s still alive. You know alive and well.
Um, not only is it alive and well but but it is redefining what it means to quote get past it oh getting past gender as something that’s going to hold somebody back means that almost a third of your crew is women as opposed to some sort of.
And human culture.
I mean it could. It could be a deliberate. It could be a deliberate choice because like then when you go to like next generation and that kind of era. It’s like it really is gone at that point the the gender divide but it’s like maybe they were trying to say we’re a little better than we are now but we’re still not quite there but that never comes across.
Just natural equity.
Clearly as a point they’re trying to make it looks like it’s just an accidental bias. That’s just kind of seeping its way into the show. Not a deliberate choice.
Yeah, it doesn’t seem like a deliberate choice. It seems like an accident of the era that it was made in and I know what you’re saying. It’s like if you were to make a show that was set in the Nineteen twenty s and you would show people of color being treated.
In Clearly harmful and extremely negative ways that would not mesh with what we hope to see in the future but you would say well that’s historically based and we’re depicting things as they were this though is a show set in the Future. So It makes it. Stand out more as a deliberate choice as opposed to saying we’re reflecting a history. We’re examining it through a lens of fiction but we are looking at History. This feels like this is not the goal. This is not the focal point. So It just stands out as being anachronistic in a weird Way. So.
The thing that stands out the most at this point is they’re talking about visiting this colony that is apparently based on a matriarchal approach to governing and all of the members of the enterprise are raising eyebrows about the idea of women being in charge and like all right like.
Get past that sadly the way we get past that is that the shuttle on its way down to the planet ignites the atmosphere of the planet and immediately incinerrates 36 hundred colonists on the surface of the planet. This accident is effectively the cold open and. It’s a very dramatic rendering of what it looks like it is clear and there have been episodes before that have dealt with with questions about like explosions on the surface of a planet accidental ignition accidental yeah, something going up. The way. The special effects were done in this moment I thought were particularly jarring because what you see is they very carefully are demonstrating that the atmosphere is igniting but everything on the surface is clearly burning as a result and you see the fire wash across the surface of the planet in what I thought was ah.
Very effective piece of cgi. Probably the best cgi. Yeah, the but probably the best cgi in this episode that we’ve seen all season. It makes sense that they would they probably I imagine had in budgeting the show. The reason the rice episode.
Yeah, it was very disturbing.
Was so lackluster. They probably held onto a certain portion of the budget and just pushed it toward this. Yeah so after this calamity on the planet 30 600 people dead I thought that the next scene was was.
For this 1 Yep yep.
As much as I didn’t like the first opening 2 minute dialogue where it was this whole thing about what are the people on the colony like I didn’t think we needed any of that lead up I didn’t think we needed any of that conversation. It would have been fine to say like I can’t wait to go down to this colony that would have been enough and but then post accident I thought that the dialogue especially from archer is.
Heartbreaking and the scene I think was extremely well portrayed.
Yeah, no, the I think the writing just in general for this episode was overall really good and this post opening credits. It was like a gut punch and they really got every. As a viewer got me in the place of like a oh God This is awful and showing archer’s dismay as what had happened of him just sitting in his ah sitting in his room just scrolling through all the people that died and it’s like that with that.
And alone that 1 shot just spoke volumes I thought it was really well done in establishing the dismay that the entire crew had over what it had happened.
And let’s and let’s you know, link that up as as the point of this podcast taken in the context of history. He’s looking at 30600 people the numbers of the victims of september eleventh were constantly. Ah.
Being revised and they were being revised up to tea even just recently because there were there were at a certain point after september eleventh every single time a person contacted authorities looking for an individual that individual was listed as missing. And assumed dead. The problem was there was a lot of duplication. So if somebody contacted the fbi and then separately contacted the and nypd both of those would list them as a missing person and both those lists would then be combined and that person would be double. Sometimes even triple counted if more than 1 person reached out. There was a lot of duplication on that list. So there were numbers immediately after nine eleven with numbers as high as ten thousand people died the numbers kept to getting adjusted down. But at this point when this episode is airing. The idea of 36 hundred people dying in a one fell swoop like this this is almost a direct reference. It feels to a nine eleven event and it and it being caused by a flying aircraft that is coming down and then has this impact.
Um, yeah I had the same feeling.
It felt very not on the nose but just like a link is being made an emotional link is being made and so him sitting archer sitting in his in his quarters and scrolling through faces and for anybody who was around. After nine eleven the new york times listed ah an obituary on the front pages of their of their paper for weeks they listed obituaries for every victim and it was literally just. Like scrolling through faces like you just saw it constantly it was it was in it was on television news programs were ending their evening news by showing lists of people. It looked very much like this. So this is. This is pulling all of the imagery that we were accustomed to after nine eleven and putting it into the context of this individual who feels personally responsible for all this the thing that kept hitting me was when he keeps barking at hoshi you’ve got to get in contact with somebody on the planet and. Her response as she’s heartbroken herself and saying there’s nothing there. We were actually looking at it when it happened we were looking at the colony when it happened there’s no structures left it is gone so the power of these moments and the personal responsibility of the archer feels I think. Comes screaming through the tv screen at this point going so far as archer reaching out to admiral forrest backck at starfleeet having to communicate this to him the hard dialogue that then follows with forret saying we’re gonna have to figure out how we reach out to the. Home world for these people and in another very powerful moment archer saying I should do that like I need to I need to be 1 to do that. We don’t see that moment though because it’s the focus. The storytelling is not about the overcoming of the tragedy in a personal way with the people who’ve now lost their colony family but it goes the other direction into kind of the political aftermath kind of what we saw in the news that I just shared about Tom daschles. Arguing for a full investigation of the nine eleven event the episode then goes into the vulcans are taking this as an opportunity to argue that humans are not ready to be out there.
Yeah, it was. It was interesting that they were making the Vulcans have the Kneejerk reaction of the seals it done which was the attitude immediately after Nine eleven. But then there’s the the national investigation that you brought up what’s trying to be more critical and look into like no wait. What actually happened here which is what the enterprise ends up trying to do.
Right? So there’s this debate that begins and the vulcans taking advantage of a moment to say and there’s ah, a lovely scene toward the end of this over overall story in which the vulcans lay out a case of like. You’ve gotten into firefights with people left right? and center. You’ve you’ve impacted the region in incalculable ways you’ve destabilized peace between the andorians and the balkans like laying all these things out. It seems very damning and then the final thing being and then you just incinerated 3600 people mistake like you’re not ready to be there, but it all the investigation of what happened the nuts and bolts of what happened is taking place on the enterprise where reid is adamant. He did the flight procedures according to the instructions from the Colony. He was prepared. They they the the cause of the explosion was not a secret. It was tetrazine in the atmosphere was ah as a result of the mining and they had given very careful approach procedures to the enterprise crew and reid is adamant I followed all of those to the letter. Ah, even was more cautious, cautious than they suggested. There’s no way our plasma exhaust ignited the tetrazine in the atmosphere and as they begin to look at the details they begin to see things that don’t add up like the tetrazine levels were lower than they expected and everything aboard the the shuttle craft. Says that the plasma exhaust were closed and archer keeps thinking there must be a mistake in the shuttlecraft or in our records but everybody on the crew is saying like we’re looking at the details right now and these things don’t add up. It doesn’t add up to an explosion. And that’s when archer then suddenly finds himself waking up after going. Not even going to sleep. He gets into bed. He turns out the light in a moment of it seeming very much like he needs comfort. He calls for portos to join him on the bed. When portos doesn’t Respond. He turns the light back on and discovers. He’s no longer aboard the enterprise he is in his bed ten months earlier the night before the enterprise’s mission actually began and he knows when he is because he receives a call. And the call is trip letting him know about some issues that might delay their meeting that they had planned and archer knows the details of the conversation before trip even says anything and he’s basically walking around in his pajama bottoms.
Wondering How can I be back here now and I know what I thought was a brilliant moment calls up and through some sort of medical exchange interviews a woman on the call to say like do you have a doctor who’s a denobulin in your. Exchange program and when she says yes we do his name is Dr Flox he hangs up the call and says I didn’t know flocks until he literally showed up as a result of the of the Klingon that was captured So I Love the moment for the fact that archer is able to on the fly.
Figure it out.
Come up with a test for himself to see am I actually in the past and he’s and he figures it out pretty quickly so this is when crewman daniels reappears and this is an element of the show that I think is like. All right? They just want us to ride past this crewman daniels has been dead aren’t you dead and him saying well you know, not really and it’s this very casual like we’re not gonna worry about that right now it is literally just a I’m not the dead person you yeah like.
Um, the hand wainess of like aren’t you dead. It was like what.
Don’t worry about it. We’re getting past that interesting choice. Um.
Well, it’s it’s 1 of those it ultimately doesn’t matter because you could explain it away with it’s time travel the time travel folks may have rescued him at the last second so it looked like he was killed but he wasn’t because they actually rescued him because they knew he died there so they tried to. Ft is death. It’s like there’s this rabbit hole that we could go down that could explain it away and so I kind of did actually like the fact they were like don’t no just don’t even bother. Don’t worry about it. It’s it’s not important because it’s not ultimately it’s not because you could come up with some convoluted way that you could say he’s still alive but we’re not even going to go there.
Not can waste time. Just let’s move on go with it I kind of like that.
See for me the problem with that is it gets.
Or there’s a lot of problems with time travel. As soon as you do as soon as you do time travel and anything I don’t care what you’re doing you open up a Pandora’s box of pain from a storytelling point of view because it’s like it’s ah it’s a magic excuse to to do whatever you want and that’s what it is here.
Yes, I’ve we’ve talked about this. We’ve talked about this in the podcast before I know this? Well I wrote a novel about time travel. It is it will break your brain. It will break your heart.
Um, but for me things like okay daniels people thought he died but he actually didn’t I don’t know what value there is for daniels to let the enterprise think that he’s dead. So. If it was a last second rescue like let me just let me just finish. Let me just finish my point though if it was in the previous episode where he died if it was a last second issue if it was a last second rescue wouldn’t he have come back and appeared and said like don’t worry about it. I’m not actually dead I’ll let me fix my light.
But I don’t think it’s because okay.
We’ll edit this out and post.
Have a response to that.
Okay, anyway, so if you have daniels die but he’s not actually dead I don’t understand what value there would be in him letting the enterprise think that he’s dead wouldn’t he show back up and say don’t worry about it I’m not actually dead.
But that’s again, no no I got a response to that. Ah.
But the bigger issue I’m not though I but I have but let me get to my my bigger point which is there’s a great opportunity in him appearing here now and archer saying we saw you die it would have been better for daniels to say. Don’t tell me anymore about what you know because that hasn’t happened for me that would have been more interesting to say that this is daniels from a point in Daniels’s experience which is earlier.
Um, you could have done it that way.
He doesn’t know how he will die and you could have had an interesting moment for that character to look heartbroken to look worried and to say it’s probably best if you don’t say anything else because that may not happen for me for a long time so that to me that’s the missed opportunity here to have a neat little sci-fi moment.
Right? It’s that’s an easy way. Yes.
As opposed to just a writerly moment of ah, don’t worry about that. He’s not dead.
No, but that’s where I come back to like once again, you could explain it hall way sea of like you let them believe that you’re dead because you don’t want the sulaan or anybody else to know that he’s actually alive and if the cap you you only let people know what they need to know and so they pride determined oh the enterprise doesn’t need to know that tenals is alive. Because it would put them actually at more Jeopardy if they did know that daniels was alive so we’re just gonna let them think that is everything’s dead. Everything’s clean, what the timeline keep going along its merry way It’s like that’s why I’m saying like daniels wouldn’t have to go back and go I’m okay, it’s like you wouldn’t you wouldn’t need that moment. So it’s like once again, it doesn’t it doesn’t bother me at all. But they did the the little hand wavy moment I’m I as a viewer I’m more willing to kind of go along with it like okay, there’s some nit picks here. But let’s just go with it. It’s fine. Yeah.
That’s true, right.
Yeah, yeah, so at this point, the story takes what I think is a neat timy wimy path for the plot. It doesn’t put archer in control of the plot. He’s the.
Mechanism for other time travelers but it creates for like it literally feels like somebody is behind the scenes cranking the story forward very quickly like we want to get from where we are which is a heartbroken archer who can barely function because of guilt. Ah.
Crew That’s confused and scratching their heads. They want to get past all of the investigat all the investigatory stuff and get into the heart of the episode which is going to be the conflict with the sulaban and how they get there is We don’t see the conversation but we see Daniel say to archer like.
Got some stuff to do so here’s how we’re gonna do it and the next time we see archer talking to his crew. He’s a changed man and he has knowledge that he should not have and just starts giving orders to people to do things that sound absolutely fantastic to the rest of the crew. He. Gives instructions to trip to build a device. The trip is barely able to understand how it would even potentially work and archer is very open about where these ideas came from I’ve been visited by a time traveler I was taken into my own past where I was exposed to all these things. 1 of the elements of the time travel that I really did like was that this set up the idea that at a certain level time travel could take place within an individual’s body archer is in the past but he’s in the past as
Archer who was there. It’s in this moment I felt like there was a little bit of a tip of a hat to Quantum Leap There was a moment where archer says to largely the audience turning aside from anybody else in the room and kind of to the camera says I’m traveling through time.
And it’s this kind of quantum leap lake experience that archer is going through of time travel within his own body and he now in his own regular time is sharing information about how to. Pair for the next step which is a device is built read is given information to as to how to set up this thing onto the the grappler arms and they are. Go to a location where there’s an asteroid and they’re they’re circling this area of space they use these devices and they reveal a cloaked ship and they reveal the cloaked ship in such a way as to not reveal to the ship that.
They’ve been spotted I thought this was a nice device. Not not technically the device in the episode but plot device. Although all of this opens up the idea of like how does this anti cloaking just kind of like disappear into ether. What? yeah like how does the federation. Not. Figure out how to use this in other cases with other cloak ships. But we’ll forget all of that they spot the Cloak ship. They’re able to target it in such a way as to be able to disable it quickly and this was 1 of my favorite moments of the episode as Well. When.
Reads targeting because of a device that they find in Daniels’s raiders of the lock lost arc locked up you know cabin they find a device that as reid is looking at it. He says they’ve got information about.
Dozens of different types of klingon vessels and archer is like I promised him. We’d only look at this 1 ship. We’re only going to look at the sulaban vessel because of the schematics reid is able to target very quickly. It seems like 5 particular spots on the sulaan ship get hit by phaser blasts in quick order.
The Suaban ship is disabled quickly and a shuttle craft attaches itself underneath and to Paul and archer board the vessel and going and steal data discs. They’re basically stealing the evidence of the Sulaban involvement.
Can I just say about this entire sequence where they’re running through the ship the whole invasion. The knocking them out going in there tactical strike it was like watching a navy seal team kind of going there like everything was going like Clockwork it was working perfectly. My 1 disappointment about this entire sequence was why the hell.
From the sulaban.
The captain there. Why the hell is the first in command I mean the second command there. Why was it not read and 2 security officers. It would have been so much better to have a highly trained security crew doing this infiltration and it would have given reid a chance to look like this.
It absolutely should have been.
Badass commando running through the ship where every time and every episode we’ve ever seen reid be down there. He always gets knocked out immediately. He’s the first guy that gets shot and is like on the ground almost unconscious or somebody jumps out from a side room and like punches him in the face and knocks him down. He’s always the person that gets like he’s a punching bag. And never gets to kind of show why he’s the head of security. This would have been an opportunity to show him as ah as a a badass security guy and to show his team kind of operating of like oh no, he’s kind of a nice little train team here going why why.
It was not only was it the first and second command but trip was there as well. So you effectively have the top 3 command positions on the enterprise doing extremely dangerous commando work whereas reid is meanwhile ah firing the phasers which is now done.
Um, yeah, it was bizarre doing an extremely dangerous maneuver.
So he doesn’t have anything to do during this period the I do think that the sequence of the attack on the on the ship is well rendered and it’s exciting and they’re being chased through the ship and there’s a couple of moments where they’re pinned. They’re using.
Like stunned grenades in interesting fashion. You see cloaked sulaban falling from the ceiling I thought there were some neat touches like that they managed to get these data disks the other element that I neglected to mention earlier was that 1 of the things that has convinced archer that his experience of going to the past was true.
Was that he went to the shuttle craft that went to the planet and found a cloak device which was meant to mimic ah phase it was supposed to mimic the phase exhaust so it was it was the device that was used to ignite the planet. He knows now like. I didn’t make this up and not only did not not make this up. We are innocent of causing the accident so they go they get these data discs these eventually are given to hoshi she is given along with to paul the task of figuring out we need to figure out how to even interface with the data that’s on these let alone decrypt it and figure out what it is. But as they have that information and they’re able to decrypt it. They’re able to see the sequence of the enterprise being tracked by the sulaban and a sulaban shuttle attaching itself to their shuttle which would have been the point that the the device would have been attached to the shuttle. So. It looks like they’ve got their evidence that they need. This is all the proof they need to say the enterprise was not responsible for this and this should get them out of the field of blame for the the accident that took place but now they’ve got to get that evidence back into Starfleet’s hands and as they are headed back to do so the ship is experiencing workfield problems and in another bit of effective I thought and jarring cgi they begin to use the device that they have. Revealed the cloak ships and they’re able to spot behind them. It seems like a couple of dozen sulaban vessels behind them and in a very eerie moment of the captain saying pan the camera down and you see the camera go down and there’s even more.
Um, this entire sequence.
Beneath them outside shots outside shots reveal that the enterprise is completely surrounded in a swarm.
It was also nice reference to a previous episode where it was that episode where there was that little ship that was just tailing there. You know, siphoning off whatever the off- gassing was because they were having engine trouble and then that group did the same thing to a Klingon ship. It struck me as this was a callback to that.
Because when the captain is like what’s there’s something weird going on. It was almost like there was a light bulb in the Captain’s head of like oh yeah, last time something of this happened there was somebody tellinging us that we didn’t know where that was there so it felt like it was a callback to that.
So when they receive a hail and it’s from the sulaban commander and he makes the request that archer needs to board a vessel that is going to dock with the enterprise and if they don’t do so the enterprise will be destroyed. And the sulaban is doing this under the orders of his cold war temporal cold war counterpart the shadowy figure that appears in the communication device that he he visits and gets orders from and this is the shadowy being that has in a previous episode punished. Selick by removing his his enhancements in 1 episode and clearly the person calling the shots and right up to the point where in this, he’s commanded. You will not destroy the enterprise but you have to get archer archer has to. Be beheld you need to get ahold of him so archer very quickly just accepts this demand and leaves to paul in command and is effectively saying goodbye to his crew and saying like you do what you have to to get this information back safely i’m. Going to go get on the shuttle but when he gets on the turbolift when the door is open. He’s not on the enterprise anymore he steps out and he is somewhere else and the enterprise crew doesn’t realize that he’s disappeared. But the sulaban do and the sulaban begin to say where is he we demand that he join us and to paul and the rest of the crew are very confused as to what’s going on because as far as they’re concerned. He was on his way to the shuttle but where is archer well it turns out that he is in a derelict. Thirty first century building in San francisco and with him is daniels and daniels is effectively having a panic attack because daniels is looking around saying ten minutes ago I had breakfast right? over here and the city did not look like this and things have changed.
Because I brought you here and it turns out by bringing archer in an attempt to save him from the sulaban by bringing him to the future that very act has now changed the past in a way that has destroyed the ability for that future to even exist. And that’s where we’ll end our summary of part 1 and maddie you ready to time travel back to 2002 again because well as Eddie money once say you can’t go back. But.
Now, Let’s go back.
Here we go.
Episode 2 aired on september eighteenth 2002 what did the world look like then well Matt I know you’ll be heartbroken to know that pinks don’t let me get me was no longer at the top of the charts I’m sure you’re wondering what were you dancing to though.
I Would love to know sean.
Well, it was dilemma. That’s right, it was the second single by nelly and this 1 featured kelly rowland of destiny’s child and this was the follow up to his big hit hot in here which had already charted it during the Summer at the movies. Barbershop was the number 1 film which is a way to prove that the September box office is very different from the Maybox office. The maybox office is pulling in eighty million dollars with star wars and in September you’re getting 20 million dollars with barbershop and Barbershop is the 2000 and 2 american comedy drama which stars ice cube anthony anderson keith david and cedric the entertainer and on television. Well surprisingly this episode of enterprise would have been probably considered an early. Entry into the new fall season because most of the new episodes for the fall season didn’t start until a week later so what were people watching well people were watching survivor which at 1 point was largely a summer filler program. And it pulled in 23 million people. So whereas this episode part 2 didn’t break five million viewers as a new episode as part 2 of cliffhanger survivor was getting 23 million people without even trying and what was in the news well
The dashel headed attempt to get a investigation into the september eleventh attacks that was now in the past that investigation would in fact, take place and the nine eleven commission would be formed. But what was in the news at the time of the airing of this episode. Well we were beginning to hear the first calls to invade iraq the end of 2002 we would be looking shortly a year later into the beginning of the second iraq war at this point. The new york times headline reads rift scene at the un over next steps to deal with iraq the united states insisted here today on keeping up the pressure on iraq with a tough new security council resolution while russia france china and the arab nations. Iraq’s decision to allow the return of international weapons inspectors was enough to hold off stronger action for the time being the very visible rift here exposed core differences between the united states and other major countries at the United nations which contended that the weapons inspectors should be given time to determine whether iraq. Is producing prohibited weapons.
So Aboard The Enterprise archer’s gone to ball to Paul is in charge and she’s got a swarm of very very angry hornets I mean Sulaban surrounding the ship and she does what. Under most other circumstances would seem unthinkable. She basically just gives up and invites the Sulaban Aboard She has effectively nothing to hide. There is no plot. There is no secret to keep archer away from the sulaban and she does I think in an audacious way. It’s.
The best course of action because otherwise the enterprise will be destroyed and it leads to some very interesting moments where the rest of the crew I thought in a very telling way this episode and the previous 1 have a number of moments with de Paul. Paul and archer in particular where she goes at 1 point in part 1 and argues like you’re feeling sorry for yourself. There’s action. They needs to be taken and in this episode she’s now fully in charge and the response from the crew when she invites the sulaban to come aboard and look nobody really calls her out on it. She has.
Um, well they they do resist. It’s like read and trip go come on and she says well do you have better options I’m I’m I’m listening and they’re all like no, you’re right? This is the best course.
They do resist. Um, right? right? They back her call when she explains herself, but it’s it’s It’s an effective transition of power to a person at the very beginning of the series that would have been. The crew would have figured out how to just completely ignore her in the earlier part of season 1 But at this point she has their trust and so when she says this is what we need to do in this case and then figure out what’s happening before we make any actions and the crew follows her. So.
Yep, they trust her. Yep.
You end up with the sulaban suddenly swarming the vessel. They’re getting the data discs that were Stolen. They’re getting that information back. The enterprises effectively lost all of it. The evidence it needed in order to prove its innocence in the accident but meanwhile in the thirty first century archer and daniels are effectively walking around or ruined san francisco and here for me is 1 of the bigger issues with the time travel as they’ve set it up in this episode.
At this point it feels like they don’t know what the rules of their own time travel are and it feels like a weakness to say if somebody moves forward in time that history then reflects.
No, they don’t.
All of that as if that person was removed from it permanently that would be a tremendous blow to a lot of Star Trek and a lot of science fiction in general that plays with the idea of people moving forward in time.
Yeah, know they don’t they don’t obey their own rules that they set up from the very first episode of this twoparter so it’s like it’s different rules. It’s like oh he’s traveling back in time in his own body. But then he goes forward in time actually physically so it’s a it’s what what’s going on here. It’s like it’s not clear rules that they’re setting up.
And they also set up in his discussions with Daniels Daniels seems largely Pessimistic. He’s he’s he’s quickly given up because none of the technology he thinks he needs in order to make anything work exists. And it seems like at this point archer is largely the 1 to say like well let’s start figuring out what we’re going to do.
Well, let me also raise a question of so you took archer out of time which altered the future which now we’re in this like desolate landscape of an alternate universe without archer instigating things. How is Daniel Still there. It’s like the technology is gone. The rooms are gone. Everything else is gone but yet every other person is gone but yet Daniel’s the guy who probably pushed the button. He’s still here that makes that makes no sense. There’s ah, there’s a break there and once again, this is where the hand waving.
Um, every every other person has gone. Right.
Yeah, yeah, it becomes evident that what they’re looking for opportunities to do things as opposed to doing things that make sense within the rules that they so claim to have set up previously. But.
Got super hand wavy of like don’t think about this.
Daniels and archer the entire scene seems to be built around 1 conceit which is daniels needs to let reveal a drip drip drip of information that for us the viewer is going to be oh I know what he’s talking about. And for archer is going to be gobblyook. It is oh the statue isn’t here the buildings that should be here aren’t here. There’s a thing called the federation that should be revealed here and archer doesn’t know what these things mean and. We of course the viewers do so it’s supposed to be a bit of fan service at this moment of us feeling like oh it’s about saving all of what we know and it’s a little awkward because of it. Daniels up to this point has played a game of like I shouldn’t reveal things to you that you shouldn’t know but now he feels completely emboldened to like literally name the federation. But then also say but I shouldn’t tell you more It’s a bit of like silly writing that doesn’t really work super super well but they end up heading toward a ah library where it’s like okay, let’s go in here and let’s figure out if we can research what has changed what what has happened and as they’re looking through history Books. Daniel says everything from the twenty first and twenty second century is where it should be but it’s events after your disappearance that have where things diverge from what they should have been on to me this is a bit of research that I i. I actually said out loud so you just researched the conclusion that you literally said at the end of part 1 which was daniel said by me taking you out of the past I’ve changed my present so they go to the library to research what changed.
And determined it was that archer had left the past I didn’t understand the point of all of that research. It’s at this moment that it’s largely around now. Daniel’s finally kind of like waking up out of his stun to say oh well, let’s see if we can’t use some of the tech. You might have on you to actually figure out a way to reach back and communicate into the past while all of that is happening aboard the enterprise and again it’s 1 of those weird things. A story being told being told with. Part of it happening in the future and part of it happening in the past but it’s being interwoven as if those events are taking place at the same time. It becomes a little weird a little trippy but aboard the enterprise to paul is being tortured in.
Sulaban attempt to figure out where archer went because they clearly can’t avoid discovering that archer is not aboard the ship. It’s only late in the sulaban investigation that they noticed a temporal marker that shouldn’t be in the turbolift. So. They do determine. Okay, somebody has done something with time in order to get archer out of here. But the sulaban commander is also scrambling. Silik is largely panicking. He feels like he he’s panicked and he doesn’t have the confidence he doesn’t he.
Um, he’s kind of he’s panicked. Yeah.
Up to this point seemed like he’s a commander in charge of the sulaban. But it now becomes evident that he’s merely the strong man that the person who communicates to him through time as part of the temporal cold war is the brains of the operation and silik doesn’t have the confidence. Command in his own right? He won’t pull the trigger on destroying the enterprise he doesn’t know what else to do and he keeps begging effectively for the technology to work where he’s trying to get the communications from whoever has been giving him the commands and nobody’s responding. So. Whatever has happened as a result of archer being removed from the timeline has affected not only daniels and his future. But also the future that that communication was coming from the crew is being locked down. They are put in their respective cabins and then this becomes. The part of the part of the episode that I think is the strongest which is the crew is largely able to come up with a plan on its own in a kind of hive mind way of them all knowing they all know.
They all need each other and it’s about that creating that circle amongst all the members of the crew and it all starts with trip being able to use the doorbell to communicate through the doorbell with read.
Can I Yeah, it’s It’s very clever here because you brought up how the scene with sepa on the bridge showed How the characters have evolved over the course of the season where they now trust her as a commander and this sequence I Love this whole sequence with how they plan. Plan with her planning and how they pull it off because every character is playing to their strengths and they’re showing how well of a unified team. They have become and how they rely on each other so it’s trip being that classic starfleeet engineer who can make anything out of duct tape and a band-aid and then you’ve got. Ah.
Reid willing to we’ll talk about it a minute put his physical being at risk for the nature of of helping the crew. You’ve got hoshi we she’ll be talking in a minute putting herself in a very claustrophobic situation which was established in the very beginning of the show of how she’s scared to be in Space. She’s claustrophobic. And she has kind of overcome her. You know fears to do what she’s about to do so. It’s like it was really interesting to show how each character has evolved over the course of the show and how they’ve all kind of bonded as ah as a well-oiled machine I thought that was a really nice set of writing and it’s very exciting what they pull off.
Yeah, it’s set up very organically. It feels like it comes right out of the characters as opposed to some of the other elements in this episode in particular part 1 had it had yeah the the Daos x Maana in the forum of when archer shows up. In the morning and says I time traveled last night and here’s a bunch of stuff we need to build like it’s like okay, you’re just getting the plot moving through this hand coming out of nowhere and pushing it. Forward. This feels the exact opposite this is as Matt said these characters they’ve shown this development of this web of. Trust. Between all these different members even to the point where hoshi argues I don’t want to do it is there anybody else any other way to do this and everybody has to lovingly force her hand they lovingly say like we know how hard this is gonna be for you but you really are the only 1 who can do this I thought that was a very nice bit of. Ah, scenery between between all of those characters and as you said trips genius at being able to. He’s got some sort of tool that he’s using on a doorbell and he’s like I can talk to anybody on so on cdeck.
Yeah B deck.
He he says we can talk to anybody on B deck but we need to get to C deck because that’s where to Paul and Hoshi and and everybody else are so he’s he’s like give me it some time I’ll be back in touch and he disconnects from from Reid and he begins working again to Paul’s recovery from her torture it. And it’s never really revealed like they don’t seem to be doing things physically to her but something is done and she is. She’s like a bowl of Jello when she’s dumped back into her quarters and in a very nice piece of acting from her. She’s so out of it that she.
On some level. She can’t even respond when magically a floating head of her captain appears in her quarter where do this? Yeah very funny sequence where did this floating head come from. Well it came from Daniels and archer who had been working in the future using Daniel’s knowledge.
It was a very funny sequence.
He says we built things like this in high school taking apart the communicator that archer has and literally cobbling together something using found Copper that was on an artifact in um, in the library and making strips of. Copper that they can use to create some sort of linkages to create this device and and daniels describes it as there was the ability of some people in time to be able to communicate through time. Without being able to actually move through time and that’s what they’re tapping into this is effectively tapping into the same type of device that silich is getting his commands through we’ve seen this kind of technology at work. But the way it manifests is very wizard of oz into Paul’s cabin.
And it’s and it’s an effect that I thought was so effective part of me was like I wish that we saw more communication that looked like this in the show because I thought it looked really cool is kind of a sepia-tone bronzified archer face floating in the middle of to Paul’s room and him communicating with her.
Me too. Yeah.
Initially very bluntly and then as he realized that she’s struggling in some way he becomes more tender toward her and invites her to remember remember when I said to you to keep an open mind up to this point she has been dismissive of the idea of time travel. Repeating over and over again the phrase the vulcan science academy has determined that time travel is not possible that is the end of her entire argument. This is just something that is impossible and that is the only thing that she’s revealing to the sulean which is why they’re so upset with her. She just groups repeating over and over again. Time travel is not Possible. So archer has now been in communication with to paul trip is using the doorbells to try and link everybody to be able to communicate including to paul and puts into motion their attempt to break out of their confinement. Which includes hoshi as Matt brought up climbing through the ductwork and it’s described as being an area of the ship that upon the ship’s construction was sealed off. It was never intended for anybody to go into it but she has to climb through multiple decks. To be able to get to Dr. flox who then gives her some hypo sprays which she then returns to read and they then begin their plot of effectively disarming enough of the sulaban to get. To where they need to in the engine room. They knock a couple of the suaban out hoshi is then given the task of like you just stay in this room I didn’t really like the fact that she’s just basically putting a room with the hypoprays and like knock em back out if they wake up like ah come on. There’s other stuff she could do but trip goes into the engine. In the engineering section. They knock out a couple of more sulaan and trip starts doing something to the engine and we see as the sulaban are continuing to reconnect. Ah, sili is still trying to reach out to the the person who he’s waiting for orders from and when he finally starts to seem like he’s getting some signal. It’s the result of as Matt brought up before read. Goes into daniels’s quarters pulls something out of a cabinet and is immediately captured and then is beaten 3 days to tuesday.
Well, it’s right before he does that whole maneuver. They all look at read and say are you sure about this and he just looks at them goes. Yeah and it’s like and you’re like what’s that about. Will you find out. He’s basic. He’s.
Are you really ready for this? yeah. Yeah trip in particular says it’s it could get bad. He says it could get rough and he’s just like I’m ready and it turns out that what he’s ready for is to get the snot knocked out of him. Yes, and and the makeup in particular makes it look like.
Which he does.
His wounds. He looks like he would probably have like a fractured eye socket his broken nose like it looks like teeth might be knocked out like he’s being beaten in a way. The makeup makes it look like he’s been beaten senseless for twenty minutes or more and which made it disturbing for me when later on to paul reveal refers to.
Reid has some minor injuries and I was I was like this is a moment where they really could have highlighted Reid’s heroism in this moment where when it’s like is the crew. Okay, her response could have been Reid requires medical attention because of extensive injuries but he should recover.
Um, yes, yeah, it was a record scratch for me when she’s called that minor I was like that did not look minor at all even with the futuristic. Yeah, even with futuristic medical stuff that they can do. It’s like come on. That’s not mine.
The minor injuries really stood out to me as like minor like the man looks like yeah the man looks like his jaw should be broken.
Yeah, there’s no minor here but Reid has taken this device and claims that archer told him to destroy it to not let it fall into the sulaban hands. He doesn’t know what it does but the.
Sillic immediately takes this to his room and begins to use this in an attempt to use it with his communication device to make the device work and cut to the chase this device. Whatever Daniels’s device is about is likely in some way the tech Of. Actual physical time travel because once it is activated and it’s linked through the communications device. The figure that appears is not the figure that silik was expecting even though sili begins immediately to refer to it as like I’m glad I finally reached you and. Figure says something that silik doesn’t understand when suddenly leaping out of the communications array comes archer. This is another moment of hand waving like how is this able to work like this when it was said that tech like this.
Just go with it. Just go with it.
Like just go with it archer Jumps out Knocks silic out and then steals a vessel and effectively takes a hostage. He even admits to it saying I know we don’t normally do this but I felt it was appropriate in those circumstances and the enterprise. Has been at this point escapes from the Sulaban Helix in space their space station because what trip had been doing in the engine room was effectively setting up a fake engine overload so that the suleban are towing the ship away. From their station and once it’s far enough away and disconnected from the shuttles they kick the enterprise into high gear and take off at warp. But now they’re being chased through space and being hammered by all these sulaban ships when suddenly the attack stops. And in in a very effective moment I think of the directing where the attack is taking place and you’re getting the classic camera shaking to show the effect of the impacts when suddenly all of that stops and the sound effects stop and the crew just sits there and looks at each other thinking. What happened.
Why Why aren’t they blowing us up all the Sulaban ships peel away and 1 shuttle approaches and when they hail it. It’s commander archer captain archer excuse me I just demoted him accidentally he arrives and is. Like it’s me I took a hostage.. It’s Fantastic. We’re all back together again is everybody Okay, Reid cut himself shaving. No Problem. He’s gonna be fine.
After all of that and it’s clear that they would have archer would have gotten aboard the enterprise and then set the shuttle to drift and silik just wakes up and is by himself in the shuttle craft probably because they make no reference to him being arrested.
Well he said he meant no he said that I’m I’m just gonna let let him adrift when I get on board. They’re gonna let him go.
They don’t. Right? right? But why you would do that with silic makes no sense but the conclusion to the episode is now effectively and a very informal hearing this is not in any way. A formalized. Process but it is the vulcans making their argument like despite the evidence that you have despite the evidence that you have proving that the enterprise wasn’t involved in the accident itself just by proximity to it. And what you’ve done in all these other cases. You should be called back this this mission should be canceled and humanity should wait for probably another couple of decades before it heads off into space in this way and archer is making his arguments. Largely not necessarily the vulkcans but to the other members of starfleet to say look we’re we’re like that baby gazelle that gets born and within a few. Hours. It’s running alongside its mother and it’s different for humans. It’s a slower process for us. But where we are right now is we’re in those first baby steps into space and we can’t let this single event or the the way that things have happened the mistakes. We’ve made. Keep us from continuing to move forward and learn how to stand on our own learn how to walk on our own and how to go on with this mission and when even that seems to be missing the Mark. That’s when tepall steps forward and this is from the producers. They made this episode and I found it interesting that this episode was not written. This is something I think Matt and I will want to talk about a little bit briefly after finishing the synopsis of the episode episode 2 was not written when episode 1 was filmed and normally they would have taken their. Hiatus and then written the episode but what they ended up doing is brennan and braga burman and Bragup ended up writing this episode. They took 3 weeks after the shooting of episode 1 to write episode 2 so they tried to write this immediately after filming.
First part and what they felt worked very well in this episode was that this is the first moment where to paul stands by unequivocally by the starfleet mission and archer. There’s no heming or hawing There’s no seeing the vulcan side. She simply steps forward and in a very what I think is a very well done scene for her makes the argument that the vulcans are effectively cherry picking information and using the bits that they like is a. Cudgel to knock down humanity instead of recognizing that there’s something happening here which is analogous to something that happened to the vulcans centuries earlier which is humanity is emerging from a period of internal chaos and forming a worldview. Forming a ah philosophy around what they’re trying to do.
On top of which ignoring their own actions that created the situations that they’re complaining about yeah which I thought was a really nice touch to.
Yes, particularly calling out the fact that the vulcans had a listening post that any kind of questionable peace with the andorrians being thrown asunder. Throwing that at the feet of the humans was a mistake because it was the vulcans who broke the treaty in the first place with their listening post under a ancient vulcan monastery. So the destruction of that monastery came about not as the result of the humans. But as a result of the vulcan action itself the episode ends I think. With 1 of the nicest scenes up to this point in the series to paul is getting ready for bed and she is disturbed from her slumber by archer who is at the door he comes in at Pajamas a very nice moment where he says I think.
Crewman Cutler saw me come in here and to Paul’s response of she’s been known to be discreet so the entire implication being like if people think we’re doing something. No big deal.
No big deal.
Better that we have this talk and archer simply says I think you put it over the top which I thought was a really great framing for the the argument that tepall makes archer saying like I I filled.
Filled the glass this full but you’re the 1 who got it the rest of the way really just putting it in her hands of you’ve saved the mission and showing in that moment that there is a bond now between archer and to paul that goes both directions. It is about. Trust running in both directions not just from a captain to a subordinate but as partners in making this mission happen. So I think part 2 for me ah certain elements of it. Are like hitting really high marks certain elements slightly missing the mark makes it kind of a mix bag. But overall I felt like this 2 parter was effectively a better pilot than the. First 2 wo-parter that we talked about which was the actual pilot I felt like this is where the show steps into being this show.
Um, yeah I that closing scene I just want to talk about that for a second was very I don’t know it was emotionally true It felt really good to me the way they ended it and there’s something that they said right at the end before it cut credits I loved was her saying to him as he’s walking out. Still don’t believe in time travel and him just going the hell you don’t and then he just walks out and cuts to black and I was like that is the best wit and that that scene for me the these 2 episodes I thought the first 1 was stronger than the second 1 the second 1 had more of those writer shortcuts of like. Don’t look behind the curtain moments then the first 1 did but I forgive those issues because the ah the emotional truth of these characters and the character bonds and the action sequences all the other stuff that’s good is so good. It. Makes up for those deficiencies of the time travel fiasco that they created for themselves. Um, so I think this this was a very strong 2 wo-parter and 1 of the things I wanted to bring up how you talked about how they wrote this episode immediately after filming the finale was. How disappointed I am in season 1 because they set up this plotline in the pilot basically didn’t touch it for 15 episodes. They had that sulaban prison camp episode and then they had a couple of minor like mentions or references back to that. Episode and then there’s this so there was basically zero to do well. The results of the daniels episode where they sealed his cabin but there’s basically nothing with this main plotline for the entire show and yet they were setting this up as the big thing for the show it came across to me is like I guess i’m. Looking at this from 2021 mindset. We’ve all gotten spoiled by Netflix and hulu and these shows that’re dumped on us 1 go they’re written and directed but they’re but there’re also a lot of these shows are written completely by the creator.
High concept. Yeah high concept television has changed the game and yeah.
And they wrote every episode all at once and then they film it all at once. So it is cohesive to the entire thing and this 1 just felt rewatching again. Just drove home. How slapdash it felt. It was just like week to week. No consistency. Whatever. Style guide or Brand bible. They came up with for the show and the characters felt like they would let that brand bible go away if it didn’t fit what they wanted to do for that specific week and it ended up creating this whole kind of chaotic disjointed thing and so looking at at the season you can see why the ratings kept going down and down and down. I don’t think it was just star trek fatigue I think it was because rick berman and braga they did a horrible job managing the season vision I don’t think they did a good job with that.
Yeah I agree with all of that I think it’s for me, it’s a combination of in 2021 you know, like like you said premier television has changed the name of the game and you see something that comes out on television now like like a foundation. Which like it’s and it jumps forward in time a couple of times before it starts to hit the the more regular plot but you never feel like you’re seeing something that isn’t leading to the next thing and you see something like breaking bad.
It’s a movie.
Ah, 5 ive-year series that was written by one person who wrote it the way you would write a novel and saying like okay I’m starting at point a I’m working to point z I’m hitting every single letter in between and I’m building each episode is going to line up with the episode before it and the like episode after it that of course taints. All of this but it’s also tainted by star trek itself in the ability for longer story arcs to be sprinkled through a season started with next generation who did it masterfully with. With longer story arcs around the klingon empire and things that were going on with the the backstory of wharf and his family and data and his lineage and what it meant when you would have soon show up as a character or if the board returned. And then deep space nine took that and turned it up several notches and had continuity in seasons where there would be an ongoing war for most of the season and it was about where are we in the war are we winning or are we losing and everything built. And you don’t necessarily need to watch them in order to you know you don’t have to be locked in order for those but it helps and you can see. Okay, there were they had a bigger vision here and voyager of course did it hit or miss. But. Overall, it’s a 7 year long series where they have 1 big mission. We want to get home and things are hung on that arc almost like christmas lights. So it’s going off into the distance always on that line in some way. Everything is tainted every experience they have. Is tainted by but we want to get home enterprise didn’t manage that in quite the same way. It’s not enough to say oh we want to go see things like that’s not enough of a direction and it doesn’t hold on to that enough and. Like you said the sula bomb plotline being sprinkled in the way it was felt like missed opportunities more than taking advantage of a story because at the end of it. It doesn’t feel like they have enough. An understanding of what their story what they’re trying to get to and it feels at times like what they’re trying to get to is perhaps that archer is critical to the future that he is a key player in something but there’s not enough made of that to really.
And when you start to see like in the discussions that we’ve been having it takes for me some of this back and forth with you on a weekly basis to start to see some of these connections and if that’s what it takes then maybe that’s not effective storytelling like oh there was the episode where. Archer helped release the sulavan from the internment camp and then a following episode somebody who knew about that event had turned it into a folklore type of thing and made him this larger than life hero. Okay, so are you seeing now a little bit of a plot point there of.
Reputation of archer is growing beyond the man he’s becoming a super historical figure even in his own era and like oh okay now I can see that but that’s not evident on the week to week watching and it’s only evident to me now as I’m saying this to you like.
Oh if this kind of discussion is necessary to start putting those pieces together then you’re missing. You’re missing your opportunities.
Yeah, it’s it’s not like they had to do something in every single episode with the time travel stuff but they could have linked far more episodes into that in a very subtle way with like the enterprise is ending up in this horrible situation and it looks like they’re. Kind of just totally sour the relationship with the vulcans or something else then it and there’s maybe some kind of a little bit of a conspiracy theory in the background of like they did they discover something where it was like oh no, this was contrived like there’s something about this that that shouldn’t have happened but that’s this this event.
Caused all this to happen shouldn’t have actually happened the way it did. We don’t know why they could have dropped all these little hints through the entire show so that when the Daniels episode sprang up. It’s like oh these are all linked like the enterprise has been being put in these bad situations. Deliberately somebody is trying to trip them up left and right.
And it’s like that could have been a thread the entire season so that when this stuff happened in the finale. It would have had even more weight and and meaning to what was going on but they didn’t do that.
It would have been. Yeah, it would have been to go in the vein of what you’re talking about it would have been interesting if there had been as they’re moving forward and meeting people for the first time word of them was getting around in the quadrant but a lot of it was misinformation.
And if they were coming across like where is this information coming from that is telling people were dangerous that that like who is telling these myths and on the other side of it if there was something that was going on in in a couple of the episodes that laid the idea that archer and to paul perhaps begin to suspect is somebody aboard the enterprise. Leaking information. There could have been an episode where something like intensely secret aboard. The ship is known by a third party and it becomes a question of is there somebody doing something behind the scenes that we’re not aware of yet. All of that would have added to the intrigue.
Well, it’s it’s they set this they set it up as a temporal cold war. All you all you have to do is look at the cold war that happened in like the Seventy s eighty s and ninety s and say okay, let’s take some lessons from that. It’s all about spies and misinformation and let’s sprinkle that out to the entire season.
Which means spies. Yeah.
Would have been really cool and yet even though they set it up as a cold war. We don’t see any of the cold war except for like 2 or 3 episodes and it was. It’s missed opportunity. Yeah, exactly.
Yeah, they could have taken yeah like like a history book like some of the cia operations that were done against cuba like like if there had been like you could have made a masterful episode out of if people aboard the Enterprise started to mysteriously become ill. And it turned out. There was a device planted somewhere that was using sound waves that was creating some sort of mental block and it was making people act progressively sloppier and sloppier with a hope that eventually they would something some mistake would be made that would cripple the ship like.
Things like that you could have played with that as an element and ah and a show in Trek built around cold war mentality would have fit with what they’re talking about the the kind of wild west of the vulcans don’t really like them. They really don’t have many allies out here like.
It would have been an interesting. It would have been an interesting perspective because the cold war was 2 superpowers warring through other countries being manipulated and so it’s like this would have put this earth and the vulcans as the people who are being manipulated and these other races being manipulated.
Proxies right? right.
By these 2 superpowers that nobody really quite knows and they’re off there in the distance manipulating everything it would been really interesting to explore that. It’s a shame.
It would have been very interesting to explore it and it would have I think if that had been what the first season was I think it would have left the future of the show in a better place post nine eleven. But as we will discover as we move forward from this point enterprise diverges from this larger plotline and never really revisits it so but as we move forward in time as we can’t. Avoid it. We’ll end this episode and I’ll remind people of my invitation to give us a better episode synopsis than Wikipedia had but make sure it’s wrong answers only next time we’re gonna be talking about the episode carbon creek Matt do you have any predictions. But we’ll be talking about in Carbon creek. Interesting. So is there anything you want to remind our listeners about what do you have going on what’s going on with your main channel.
I Wonder if it’s going to be a creek that’s made of carbon.
Just ah, usual stuff I’m doing a lot of exploration into new battery technologies and energy storage technologies sustainable tech just be sure to check out undecided with Matt ferrell. There’s a lot of interesting stuff going on.
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