28: Dead Stop – Star Trek Enterprise Season 2, Episode 4

Matt and Sean talk about stopping at gas stations in the middle of nowhere and getting ripped off.

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Will be 80 years old
Finish the Star Trek Pardon me that’ll be a name of vodcast pardon me.
Oh just 1 more thing.
Everybody welcome to trek in time the podcast that takes a look at star trek in order and in History. What we’re going to be doing is taking a look at each episode of star trek in chronological order and we’re also looking at how the world was at the time of the original broadcasting of the episode. And the people doing this talking. It’s gonna be me sean ferrell I’m a writer I write some sci-fi I write for adults and kids and with me is my brother Matthew he’s 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.
Hello Matt yes.
Hello Matt thank you for being literal. The listeners would have been upset if you hadn’t been Don’t forget, there are ways to directly support the podcast you can go to trek in time show and there you’ll find a way to throw some coins at us. Appreciate any kind of support even if it’s just subscribing listening liking the episodes and sharing them with your friends. All of that really does help before we get into this newest episode which is going to be the episode deadstop. Let’s hear about some comments from our previous episode. Matt you want to share what we’ve heard back from.
Sure in the last episode minefield. There was a fun 1 from Roattrav I really like this 1 a lot hey farrell brothers I was wondering if you guys could help me out with the star trek fan script I’ve been working on here. It goes an enemy ship approaches archer. Ready the face or sorry archer ready this phaser trip phaser I hardly know where the whole bridge crew groans mayweather. Why do we have to bring him along anyway, everyone laughs archer travis you’re my favorite spock. It’s ill logical for me to be appearing in this ah in this scene fade to black as the enterprise wraps as as it warps away I completely screwed that whole reading up because I was laughing through it. But I just love that little story because that basically is some of these episodes feel like to me.
Yeah, the bocky middle of season 1 absolutely felt like that but robo you need to write a full novel in that entire voice that same voice. You need to write a a fan script.
Yes, um, this the next comment was for yes, you do? Yes yes, aj chan although this was an incredibly wellw written episode, especially the read archer dynamic. With tension that exemplifies a rhymullan encounter it sort of takes away from the balance of terror knowing the rhymelands had the engineering know-how to miniaturize cloaking tech on small minds. Why did their twenty second century bird of prey struggle with power management now. It seems like they spent 1 hundred years to not. So much progress on their cloaking tech I do agree that is an interesting view. It’s like once you start to look at this episode in place with the rest of the episodes that we’ll eventually get to when we get to the original series and things like that. There’s just so much that doesn’t quite make sense and it’s kind of a fill into that. It’s a dangerous game to play. Yeah.
Ret Conning is a dangerous. It’s a dangerous game. Yeah.
And then the last comment was pelico sixty nine said as soon as I saw the mine on the ship I just knew this was going to be another lieutenant dan moment for read which I thought was an awesome comment and I’ve I’ve mentioned this before in previous episodes. It bothers me a bit that they’re making read the punching bag. Every single time I mean he is a red shirt in the red shirt. You know so it’s like okay, fine ah red shirts always get hurt you know or killed off but it’s like he’s the head of security come on. It’s like at least I mean wharf and next generation will get to this too. He’s a bit of a punching bag at times.
Technically Yes, yeah.
But then he also has episodes where he stands his ground and is really shows that why he is an imposing figure and why he can do what he does. It’s like it feels like Reid needs a little more you know give him a little bit of a you know what? I mean.
Um I I And yeah I get that but I also think it’s born of the nature of the show which at this point they’ve exemplified that at this stage of Exploration. There isn’t as much Face-to- face contact as there is ship to ship contact. And when it’s Ship-to-chi Contact Reid can’t go Toe-to- toe with some tech and come out on Top. He’s going to have to take damage as the form of fighting back. So It’s like yeah wharf would go toe to toe with people sometimes.
And maybe get his butt kicked. But another time he would come in and just 1 punch with the palm of his hand and take somebody out without any problem reid doesn’t actually go toe to toe with a lot of people. It’s usually stuff like oh it’s ordinance he has to disarm this mine. He has to go climb through this jeffrey’ tube and and.
Um, it could be strategy and tactics. It could be strategy and tactics like he has an episode where he does some. He comes up the tactical way to do something that really does kind of win the day. It’s like show his show his strengths more I don’t see worse I Don’t think we’re seeing Reid’s strengths we to see him as a.
You know trigger this alarm.
Ah, he’s going to be the first guy that goes down every single time. Oh he got to think through his leg. Of course he did.
I disagree with that I think we’re seeing his I mean absolutely he gets his leg pierced but his strength is still demonstrated in the fact that he’s able to talk somebody without ordinance training through disarming a mind to the point where he’s able to say when it’s armed he’s able to say okay back up a step.
And still able to get them safely to a place where they’ve done as much as they possibly can especially considering he has a a shaft through his through his thigh I don’t know I think I’m I do agree. It’s a lieutenant danism. You know he is getting snacked around constantly. He’s the pinata on the ship but I also think.
True true.
That’s kind of what the character’s supposed to be and it does relieve some of the red shirt ism in the form of he’s the red shirt who doesn’t die in the beginning of every episode so it does add attention to it where like oh we know him as opposed to every other red shirt. Moment you see a red shirt going down with anybody of of influencer like oh there’s the guy who’s going to Die. He’s the 1 who doesn’t so it ah allows for a more emotional connection to what’s going on with him. So.
You know they’re going to die. Yeah.
It’s fair.
So Matt you want to share a quick synopsis of deadstop. This 1 is another synopsis directly out of wikipedia but I think we’re all going to be pleasantly surprised by what we hear.
Okay, after the enterprise was damaged in the previous episode minefield. The crew finds itself in need of assistance to effect repairs. They send a distress call and the telerights send the coordinates of a station that’s capable of serving their every need at a cost which seems too good to be true. That is a very good description of this episode I will say it’s very accurate.
Yes, yes I would like to think that maybe mocking all the previous synopses has driven somebody to actually go to Wikipedia and say like well maybe we should take a look at these. Maybe we should change a few of these because they’re garbage. Ah.
Ah, make a change. Yeah yeah.
So when I saw that I was actually pleasantly surprised. There was a typo but it wasn’t a major thing and I was just like all right good job wikipedia you’ve earned your quarter this episode was originally aired on october ninth 2002 was written by Sussman and strong the pair that has been responsible for many episodes throughout season 1 and this was directed by Roxanne dawson who is a returnee to the director’s chair for enterprise. Was also pleasantly surprised as I was recently watching an episode of foundation to see that she had directed that as well and I really I I just enjoy her as a director I think she’s extremely talented. She really knows what she’s doing and when I saw her name pop up at the beginning of foundation I thought oh this is going to be a good 1 and I wasn’t wrong. She handles everything from character motivation subtleties of response to moments on a character’s face to action sequences. She handles it all really really? well. So I’m a big fan of her behind the camera this episode originally. Earned five point four million viewers. So it was a little bit higher smidge higher than the previous week. So it’s holding its audience. It’s not growing an audience but right now the the show seems to beholding its audience which avoids the dilemma of losing your audience to the point. Of cancellation and speaking of dilemmas matt we were still listening to dilemma nelly yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah, I know what I’m doing nelly and kelly rowland were still teasing our ears with dilemma and they will for the next few weeks
I I like what you did there that was a great. You’re professional. That’s what I’ll say you’re a professional.
So get ready in theaters people were enjoying or getting disgusted by red dragon the 2002 psychological thriller theme film based on the nineteen eighty 1 novel by thomas harris it was directed by Brett ratner and written by ted talley. And it made 36 million breaking an october record previously held by meet the parents which is ironic because it has the exact same plot as meet the parents. And on television people were tuning in for csi there were only 30 million viewers watching csi so like neck and neck with enterprise yeah, in the news on this day october ninth twenty.
So close.
2002 there were many headlines on the new york times revolving around suspicion of iraq the continuing use of secret judge panels regarding potential suspects around. The 2001 terror attacks the Bush administration pushing for more control over use of secrecy pushback from some members of congress. All of that were the major headlines but this headline stood out for me as a. Creepy forecast of what would come later from the new york times lie detector tests found too flawed to discover spies in a report to the government a panel of leading scientists said Yesterday that polygraph testing was too flawed to use for security screening. Panel said lie detector tests did a poor job of identifying spies or other national security risks and were likely to produce accusations of innocent people the 200 and forty five page report by experts convened by the national research council an arm of the national academy of sciences. Said that the scientific basis for polygraph testing was weak and that much of the research supporting its use, lacked scientific rigor and what stood out for me about this that made it a dark shadow on the horizon was in coming years we would learn that. Employees such as waterboarding were being used which clearly waterboarding when compared to a lie detector test is exponentially worse and this new york times headline kind of casually pointing out that.
It’s time in the same plane.
The government’s use of lie detectors to try and suss out risks to national security and it being given a thumbs down. It seems absolutely devastating to think that the path that was Chosen was to go even.
Deeper into a dark aspect. Onto today’s episode deadstop. It is either very late April or early may 73 this episode is supposed to take place four days after getting caught in Minefield and that episode. Was likely at the end of April we are again in a string of episodes without a specific date attached. So these dates can be attributed to me I am speculating. The episode starts with captain archer and trip inspecting the damage to the ship. This episode was actually nominated for an emmy for special effects I think that this episode is full of fantastic visual effects for a television program.
Yes, they do.
They hold up. There’s only a couple of shots where it’s people standing in front of what are supposed to be windows it very clearly looks like graphics added in. But other than that the design of the space station that they will go to and the. Piction of the damage to the ship itself I think is extraordinary trip and archer are looking at the damage and they are trying to forecast how long this might take and they find themselves in a position not too different from.
The setup of the entire series of voyager they are in a position where if they are left to their own devices. They are potentially 10 years away from the nearest space station and repairs could take months if they can even find the proper materials. So there’s finding the materials refining them being able to make them properly all while trying to protect parts of the ship that are incredibly sensitive and trip makes a comment that if the mine that exploded had exploded just a few meters in a different direction. It would have probably destroyed the ship so they are looking at a very precarious situation. They can’t even protect that part of the hull because of the lack of hull so they can’t keep themselves protected from any kind of sprace debris that might just coincidentally. Impact that side of the ship. So.
Yeah I just I do want to just bring up like I loved the whole aspect that they this is almost like a 2 wo-parter episode because it is so tightly linked to the last 1 I love that we’re seeing the ramifications of the catastrophe that hit the ship in the previous episode even to read. Still being unable to really walk and going through basically rehab with the doctor and the the comment I love the whole ah the regular regular blood worms he said well I could put more blood worms in there. He’s like oh no, you don’t the the last 1 is still like not out of here and he said and the doctor the doctor going.
Um, yeah.
Um, yeah.
We don’t even know where it is yeah.
But he’ll come out in his own. It’s like I love that whole exchange between the 2 of them and it’s showing it’s it’s the human impact the the machine impact with what happened to the ship. It’s like the ramifications where this show up into this point really is. Episodic. They really haven’t been doing a lot with continuous storylines over Arcs. So for me I was really enjoying how tightly this linked to the previous 1 of the previous episode caused this episode completely. This wouldn’t have happened if they hadn’t damaged their ship. So I thought that was fascinating.
Right? That yeah and that touches on something that we’ve talked about previously I’m a big fan of serialized storytelling in television I I find myself drawn to it more often than not.
Ah, fun way to kind of wrap it up.
Me too me too.
I do know that there is now a push in the other direction especially within star trek the the new show that is going to be coming out about the first voyages of the enterprise they have explicitly said it is not going to be serialized. It is going to be standalone episodes so they are going back to the.
The format of the original series I can understand the drive for that I think that Networks I think producers and Networks are finding strengths and minuses to both formats I think 1 probably holds audience in a certain way. And the other probably invites new audience in in a different way and I think that I completely understand that. However I think that this episode’s this episode demonstrates the perfect balancing of those 2 and.
Bingo. Yes.
There was a in my research into this I found a comment that was basically the producers wanted to specifically highlight the the realities of where the enterprise was to depict the fact that in a calamity. Size of what happened in Minefield what would that mean to them and they called it continuity without being serialized and I think that that as a framing is very useful I would hope it would be very useful to producers and other productions of star trek because the new series.
Um, yeah.
I can understand them doing standalone episodes this I looked at it and thought boy this is almost like a bottle episode without being a bottle episode because it is complete in and of itself if you drop somebody into a chair and showed them this. Without them knowing anything about the previous episode. It gives you everything you need right in the beginning they say boy that mine really did a job on us. It blew that whole side of the hull out. We almost got destroyed and now we’re stuck out in here in space and if somebody says Wow I wish I could have seen that whole thing you could say hey guess what there is an episode.
But you but you won’t be lost. Yes, exactly.
But they don’t need to obscene. It. Yes, and so this I think does a marvelous job with that. It’s very different from what they’re doing with like babylon five or you know they’re rebooting that series that’s going to be coming out on the cw they’re effectively I I believe going to be redoing what they did with the First. Series of babylon five. It’s going to be Serialized. It’s going to be 1 episode leading directly into another and if you miss a couple of episodes. You’re not going to know what’s happening I would hope that there would be a little bit of this continuity without being serialized done on the new trek show I would like to see a little bit of.
Me too.
References back to what has been going on I would like to see a little bit of the opportunities for characters to grow a little bit and reflect on what has happened previously I enjoy that that for me is very helpful for fully fully feeling immersed in a program. So I agree with you. It’s great that they start this way with it being oh my god we’re effectively dead in Space. What are we going to do and archer very reluctantly says I think it’s time that we get some payback for all the help we’ve been trying to offer people while we’ve been out here. It’s we’ve. Jumped to the call when we’ve heard distress calls. It’s time for us to send 1 ourselves. They send a distress call and I like the fact that it’s a teleright freighter I like it only for the fact that it’s a tele right? freighter I just thought that was cool I’m like oh those tele rights. They’re always out there in their freighters. Just.
This is this a.
Kind of like hanging out in space and passing messages back and forth. It was telewrights who had shared in the carbon Creek episode. It was telerights that had passed the Vulcan distress call from to Paul’s great Grandmother Yeah, they’re basically the truckers of space I It’s like yeah.
It’s the it’s the Galaxy’s truckers.
Yeah breaker breaker good Buddy. It’s tell right freighter so they receive response from the telerighttes. It’s a very broken up message archer is trying to communicate with them saying like we need your help. Can you do something for us and they get back a cryptic response saying like. We’re going to give you coordinates of a station when they get those coordinates they discover that at their maximum warp which is currently warp 2 it will take them 3 days to get to whatever is at that location archer tells them. Let’s go and when they get there. They discover a strange looking and ah. Apparently completely vacant space station that looks dead in space as they approach the space station. They run some scans they discover things like it’s got a liquid helium. Atmosphere inside. It is negative 2 hundred degrees celsius it clearly not gonna do them any good as far as being able to board this thing but as they sit there. They are scanned and it is 1 of those I think anytime you’re watching a star trek show and the scanning looks like. Every light in the room is suddenly turned on you need to assume that it’s a little nefarious because it’s never just like oh we’re just looking at your ship. We’re looking at the inside of your navel at the same time. So this very intense scan takes place and they begin to notice. Strange changes to the station which include the atmosphere inside the station begins to change. It becomes an oxygen nitrogen atmosphere. The the station itself begins to change shape. And they become aware of the fact that it’s changing shape in a way that allows the enterprise to actually pull into the station and when they do so an umbilical comes out connects to the side of the ship and archer and to paul and trip board. Ah station which once it opens on the inside looks like something out of 2001 I really enjoyed the design aspects around this episode.
The nonverbal communication that that was really clever like when they walk out, there’s no signs or anything. It’s just the lights are blinking in a direction basically saying come this way and it’s like a universal way to communicate with somebody without knowing their language I was like that’s a nice little touch. They did right there.
Just blinking lights. Yeah yeah, right? Yeah, so they follow the the path to a room which has holographic displays showing the Enterprise showing. Damage sections and archer very casually looks around and says everything here is in english and trip is looking at the holographic display and saying it’s accurately representing damage including stuff that is old and points out a scratch. To the paint that was the result of having bumped it with 1 of the small observation craft which raises archer’s eyebrow a bit because he said I thought I told you to fix that they even find a screen that it displays reid’s wound which he has been rehabbing. Dr. Flox so they already know that there is a level of there’s a level of scanning and automation at work here because they can’t find any people that goes far beyond their technology and. What is effectively a siri like interface begins to respond to them and say like here’s how long the work in a very sealer like way I don’t understand what you’re asking me saying over and over again here’s what you need done here are your options for payment.
In a veryerial like way I don’t know you’re I don’t understand what you’re saying.
And the options for payment. They’re given 3 choices the providing of some warp coils the providing of another like actual technical device or providing of plasma and read very. Quickly says I don’t think we should give up anything. We can’t replenish on our own. So I’d say go with the plasma they agree to the deal even though archer is extremely reluctant and it’s Understandable. He doesn’t know what the space station whose station. It is is completely mysterious, but it seems. Too Good to be true like finding an oasis in the desert they have stumbled into this environment but he really does feel trapped. They don’t seem to have any other options.
He Yeah, he feels like he’s making a a devil’s Bargain. You can tell the way he’s acting and questioning the computer that it’s like he knows this is a deal. He’s getting to a deal that he doesn’t know what the results are going to be which is it’s It’s nice to see that he’s kind of listening to his inner voice telling him something. Not right.
Yeah, which will come out in a conversation a direct conversation with de Paul around that exact thing the idea of your gut instincts at work and when to trust yourself so archer agrees to the deal and the computer which I.
Don’t know about you but I recognize it right away the voice it’s Roxanne dawson apparently during the shooting of the episode. She was providing the voice during the shooting during the filming Berman convinced her to even though they had hired an actress.
I didn’t no.
To be the voice Burman convinced her she should be the voice and she was concerned that people would recognize that they become distracting and I agree with both of them I was very glad she did it but it was distracting because every time I heard her I thought yep yep. That’s roxane Dawson. So they agree to the deal and the computer very cheerily says take advantage of the relaxation environment that’s available for you while you’re waiting for the work. It’s going to be 34 hours and so clearly this is an opportunity for the crew to have some downtime. While the ship is being repaired and a doorway opens up that goes into what looks effectively like just a small cafeteria. It’s not particularly inviting because everything is stark white but it’s comfortable enough. It has some tables. It has some chairs and they discover which. Are basically food replicators which in yeah in by the time we would reach the original series they had food replicators that were never explicitly highlighted as fantastic tech. It would be.
Food Yeah, it’s a food replicator in the table. That’s it. Yeah.
Depictions of that were largely. You’d see people using these things getting food out of them. But it was never highlighted the way that it was by the time we get to next generation where people walking up and saying t earl gray hot becomes the norm and we see that anything you ask for can be provided in. Transporter like tech that is able to recombine proteins and make anything you want and so when they first experience this and to paul tests it by making cold ice water and drinks it and it seems perfectly fine and then. Trip tries by making fried catfish and is stunned to discover It’s very good. All of this adds to archer’s suspicion I really enjoyed that this moment of a little bit of lighthearted.
Um, the magic of future tech really being on display. They look like 2 people to paul and trip experiencing this the way that you and I might experience going to a tech show and seeing a new vr helmet.
This is.
And a new personal computer. That’s the size of your thumbnail and they’re really looking at this as kind of like ooing and eyeing over it. But archer looks at it from the opposite side which is to say how do they even know what catfish is and to paul very. Placidly replies. Well, they’ve clearly scanned all of our files. They know the genetic makeup of a catfish which did raise a question for me. Why would the enterprise have the genetic makeup of a catfish in its records it just like.
Yeah, it wouldn’t It wouldn’t yeah.
Like yeah like okay, we’re about to launch the flagship of the fleet. Don’t forget make sure that don’t forget the genetic makeup of all bottom dwelling fish needs to be aboard that vessel just in case, you never know what you might need in that moment.
The catfish.
He never know what’s going to come up and be needed.
Like oh my God The klingons are coming out of they’re coming out of warp does anybody know the genetic makeup of a catfish.
How about some catfish.
But anyway the point being archer is looking at this from the perspective of I don’t like the fact that they know what a catfish is I don’t like the fact that they know what recipe to use to make the catfish and to pauls. Response being very placid and trips response being like but you should really try it I think we’ve got the classic triumvirate of Star Trek You put 3 characters with different perspectives. Yeah, you put the 3 characters in different.
You got the but the bones the spock and the kirk. Yeah.
And different corners and you let them all reflect on the same thing at the same moment from different perspectives and it really works in this moment where trip goes off eating the catfish. He’s gonna sit down. He’s gonna finish that plate. You know there’s no doubt he’s gonna finish that plate but archer just wants to get off the Station. He is like. Let me just go I’m gonna I’m gonna see what chef is preparing so back aboard the enterprise the next time we see archer talking to to paul is the time when they have a conversation effectively on the idea of like when do you trust your gut and. Archer understands that to paul is not going to come at this from a gut reaction but he wishes she would I thought this was a very nice discussion because he clearly is looking for somebody to kind of back up his suspicions and he wants it to be her but he also understands it can’t be It won’t be I thought it was a very nice. A very nice bit of writing.
Yeah I agree it was ah it was a nice little scene and also you could she you could see that she wanted to support him but couldn’t so it was I think it was nice from both sides of that conversation.
Meanwhile back aboard the station we’re given some really neat special effects around the repair of the ship we’re seeing these robotic arms The very moment that they agree to transmitting payment in the form of Plasma. The station activates arms that begin to grab hold of the enterprise and in a very nice moment of slight panic mayweer reaches out to the captain is’s like hey captain these arms. They just grabbed a hold the ship and he’s like yeah yeah, don’t worry about it I thought yeah protocol shutup should probably be letting the Enterprise know. Yeah, we’re gonna do this.
So in case, anything happens don’t panic. Um, but now we’re hours forward and we’re seeing out the window of the of the waiting room with the tables and the room is full of enterprise crew that are taking advantage of some downtime. Thought this made a lot of sense considering they had just gone through the Minefield experience the levels of stress on all of them would be intense the ability to go aboard a station where they could order anything they wanted to eat.
Um, yeah.
Have comfort food and just relax. Yeah.
Comfort food and relax and you see sato and mayweather having a laugh at a table together you see through the window the repair work going in the enterprise anytime we see shots within the enterprise is a really neat sequence where you see the arms reaching in through the gaping wound of the enterprise and replacing panels that are materializing instantly. So there is. Effectively replicator technology at work now throughout the ship as everything is being repaired very quickly trip has been monitoring this and is reporting back that the repairs are exceeding the specs for Starfleet minimums. So. They’re effectively going to have a better part of the ship when it’s done and we see trip and we see reid aboard the station sitting having having ah drinks together and they decide that they’re going to do the and most unstarfleet officer.
This is this is this this entire scene made me angry. This is the 1 part of the show where I was almost yelling out loud. Oh come on like this was here’s the 2 2 like leads of the show and of the crew saying.
Thing they could possibly do.
You know what we’re gonna do. We’re gonna do a little breaking and entering and try to go steal some technology. That’s what they both agreed to in the scene and it was so for me pushing the boundaries of what these characters would actually be willing to do it felt out of line for even trip to want to do this and then read who in just the previous episode. Literally the episode where he’s pinned to the ship and is willing to die to help save the crew talks about how the captain isn’t strict enough and how the ship is too loose and people are left. Don’t follow orders and people are a little too kind of like freewheeling.
Lucy Guzy yeah.
Why would a man who literally said that the previous episode go along with trip on this cockamimmi idea. It’s like it would have made more sense for him to go I’m not going to be any part of this if you’re going to go do this. You’re on your own and have trip try to do it by himself if you really wanted to do this but the fact that Reid went along with it. What.
Headlong into the what the hell it’s like this this was they had a plot idea they wanted to do and it was really to me sloppy storytelling and sloppy writing to contrive a method to get these 2 guys to do this I thought it was banana isn’t stupid I just thought it was awful.
Yes I I do I think that? yeah for the for a brief moment I will jump forward in the plot to to reflect on what they are trying to do they are trying to give an opportunity.
Yes, that does come back? yes.
For a later moment when archer and to Paul do want to actually get into the bowels of the space station having had the experience of when the alarms are tripped and what the response is. Giving to Paul and archer an opportunity to know exactly when and where that is so that they can’t avoid that. However, and here’s where I’m going to put my my little writer’s cap on nothing that happens as a result or of trip and read doing what they are about to do.
No that no.
Was necessary because everything everything that happens later could have been done later simply as a part of we need to get to the bowels of the ship we need to get in the bowels of the space station. It didn’t need any of this this act.
Unless it has a direct result in knocking down the next Domino doesn’t have a place in the Story. So This I think feels to me like something somebody threw out there as Well. They should know some things about the station already so somebody needs to do something like this. And then nobody stopped after they got to the end of the script to say wait a minute did they really need to do that because they didn’t what they do is they decide they are going to break into the bowels of the space station to see what’s going on because trip is curious the computing power that is at work.
Yeah, no, this was a completely and it was unnecessary.
Is something so far. Beyond starfleet’s capacity. It is so far Beyond anything that they have seen from even the vulcans he is so curious to see what this computer must look like because the station size he has figured out they have. Access to almost the entire station which means there is a very small room in which the computer must be and that small room holding a computer that small that can do this much computing is tantalizing to him now him raising this as an issue to read.
Makes perfect sense and as you said if he had said let’s see if we can’t get in there for reid to immediately say I will have no part of this and if you say 1 more thing about this I’m going to let the captain know that you’re talking about doing this because what you’re talking about is breaking and entering into a station which has invited us in and given us strict confines of where we can go.
I won’t be a part that would have been better for the yeah better for the character better for the show. What ends up happening is they sneak into an airduct and partway through the airduct an alarm goes off the tube that they’re in the Entryway closes off.
In character.
And they are then transported out of the tube onto the bridge of the enterprise where to their embarrassment they are covered in soot and they are on their hands and knees looking up at commander to Paul for the comedic value of trip saying evening commander. It’s not worth.
This is.
Any of that for these 2 characters to have done what they did. It doesn’t make sense within the confines of the show that problematic sequence is followed by a scene that I do enjoy if you’re going to have that bad moment.
At least you followed it up with the strong moment of archer basically dragging the 2 of them over the coals combining them to quarters for the remainder until he decides to let them out. And reprimanding them from a perspective of you are senior officerss aboard this ship you’re supposed to be conducting yourself in a way that’s a demonstration and a role model for the rest of the crew and then he gets right in Reid’s face and says what Matthew basically did you literally just told me you think things are too loose on this ship I’m beginning to agree with you. So I thought that that moment at least was the silver lining of the murkier cloud.
Um, it was the own it was. It was a but it was still wasn’t enough because as you pointed out from a writing perspective. This scene was unnecessary because later not to jump ahead. But when they’re trying to call through that tube again basically read. Sacrifices himself to get beamed away so that they can scan and figure out what’s going on to get past that point it’s like they could have. That’s all you need it. It’s like you didn’t even need the scene because it’s like they could have seen reed been away. They could have scanned and gone. Oh it was coming from that thing. Let’s destroy that thing so we can get past it. That’s all you had to do. It’s like you didn’t need the scene at all.
Um, that’s all you needed in that moment. Yeah.
But at least you’re right at least they did show the ramifications of the captain getting super pissed off and saying you’re confined to quarters because you guys have just crossed a line. So at least we had that but still, you didn’t need it in the first place and it compromises those characters as we’ve come to know them it pushes them beyond what we would have expected. And out of them.
At this point we see mayweather in his quarters preparing for bed and you get the beefcake shot of mayweather with his shirt off and in this moment we see him receive a call. Which is ostensibly from the captain and it’s not a surprise I think to us the viewer that as soon as we hear archer’s voice. We know this is not archer archer directs mayweather to come to a. Part of the ship that is currently quarantined because of the repairs that are going on everybody aboard the enterprise has been removed from the damaged sections of the ship and the repair work is being done without any human interaction at all so mayweather responds to like that. That’s not a part of the ship I’m supposed to go to and our just says I need you so mayweather goes and when he gets to the location. He finds a damaged part of the ship with Sparks and it clearly doesn’t look safe and he. Kind of stands there curiously looking at it and wondering where the captain is and when we return to the scene which would have been after commercial break. We find that mayweather is dead and this is a very somber sequence when Flocks is. Dealing with the death of mayweather in his at this point unsurprising calm manner and we see archer and the other executive officers of the ship being extremely hard hit by the loss of Maywe. There are. Concerns and questions about why would mayweather even be there. None of this seems to add up and this would have been. They basically say it’s at the end of mayweather shift. It’s late at night he was getting ready for bed and none of them can figure out why he would have gone to this part of the ship. Unbidden there’s nothing even in the ship’s logs to indicate that he received any kind of communication. So the communication that ostensibly came from archer. Not only was it not archer, but it was able to be completely removed from any kind of records of the ship flocks is looking at mayweather’s body when sado comes. To see her friend and there’s a very tender moment where she is reflecting on the kind of relationship she had with mayweather. She reveals that he was prone to playing practical jokes on her including trying to convince her that there was a new life form that she had learned to communicate with which turned out to be strawberry jello.
And there is a response from flocks to her exhibiting her emotional response to this which it was very subtle and I thought it was wonderful acting on the part of of. The actor who portrays flox billingsley where he he can conveys a sense of not having the same level of emotional response but respecting and being open to witnessing. Humans response to death and it’s very in character for him his willingness to let her come in and do what she needs to do while warning her that she might see something which would be even more upsetting and then being there in a kind of supportive role while not. Quite being sure of what to say I thought it was all handled very very delicately by him and and and represented very well by the actors and by the writing and it’s during this conversation when he sees something that raises an eyebrow and he’s not quite sure what to interpret at first. But we later see him. Reach out to archer and archer is still trying to figure out what could have possibly taken mayweather to that part of the ship. There’s a nice sequence with him and read in mayweather’s quarters reid has discovered a letter to mayweather’s sister that mayweather was in the process of writing and the 2 of them are just reflecting on the death of a. A young man that they clearly viewed as a friend when flox reaches out to the captain. It’s when the captain arrives in sick bay that flocks just flatly states. This is not enson mayweather. This is a nearly perfectly replicant. And the way that he knows. It’s not the actual mayweather is that within mayweather system is an inoculation of a virus that not only would it have survived the kind of discharge that supposedly killed Mayweather. It would have thrived on it that there would be more of the virus in his body, not dead virus and it was a very yeah, go ahead.
I like this a lot showing showing the Replica showing that their replication system can replicate anything but it can’t replicate life so everything on his on his body and in his body was dead and there still would have been some life in the body or on the body I thought that was a very.
Um, right.
Clever way that the doctor teased this all together and figured it out and it also shows how good the doctor is at what he does and his attention to detail.
It was also I think a neat bit of up to this point. It’s been a lot of characters interacting with what for them would have been space. Magic up to this point and then this pulls it right back into a little bit of a hard sci-fi footing where it is. Technical aspect of look at this virus. This virus is not alive. This virus should be alive therefore this is not a real version of this virus the body it’s in must not be right, be real either. So now they’re in a position of we’re looking at a kidnapping. We’re looking at an abduction. We are not looking at an accidental death and they begin to hatch a plan and it revolves around unfortunately tucker and and reads earlier traipsing through the cordoned off areas again. Don’t think you needed that earlier scene at all I think that archer could have looked at at reid and said you got to help me come up with a plan to get deeper into the station past the Cordon off area tucker goes into distraction mode. So he goes aboard the ship with payment which includes it’s the. Ah. Multiple vats of plasma that are being rendered as payment. The idea that tucker was earlier saying yes well tucker is his last name but that’s the fact that trip was.
You mean trip.
Going to distract a computer that he himself said it is able to do quantum calculations at a speed which is incalculable for us and yet he acts as if he a single human trying to use an interface can distract that entire computer away from being able to notice anybody doing anything else. Anywhere in this ah in the ship I don’t quite get that but I’ll allow it for comedic effect because what he’s effectively doing is he is going aboard the ship and saying I’d like to speak to your Manager. He does everything except where a karen wig as he’s trying to demand that the. Work that was done aboard. The enterprise is shody and he doesn’t like it and what kind of guarantees. What’s the warranty on this. What if we fly off into warp and everything blows up I need to speak to somebody I’m going to complain about what’s been done to my ship while he is doing this read to paul and archer are back in that. Air vent climbing through the vent and when they get to the spot where the transporter removes reed once again from the tube archer and to paul entered a position where they have not tripped the alarm so they’re able to use sensors to register. What is exactly working from where. Use phasers to disarm the transporter and in what I thought was actually a very nice element of the show. To paul is trying to rerroot some computer circuitry. She is working on a panel and what she’s trying to do is not opening up the event that she needs to open and she finally just loses patience turns with her facer and blasts it open and there’s not a word passed between her and archer archer simply looks at her.
And shoots it. Yeah.
With an expression that was just like did you really need to do that I thought it was a nice touch. They go through the vent. They enter the computer room here was a sequence which I thought was a little disorienting for me because the room had been described. As being barely larger than the cafeteria room and yet it felt huge compared to the cafeteria Room. So I found myself a little bit like wait. What are we looking at I’m not quite sure but this is now turns into a scene.
And it felt huge.
From a movie like coma the nineteen seventy s sci-fi film about people intentionally put into comas so that their organs could be harvested. We see the computer room and it is a large chamber with multiple tables and on those tables.
Are members of practically every species known to a trek fan. We see some klingons. There’s a Vulcan There’s a Cardassian there are potentially individuals on these tables that. Might have even been made up specifically for this episode that have never appeared anywhere else. There are likely individuals on these tables that the members of the enterprise and maybe even to Paul wouldn’t be able to recognize but that we would I Really like that element and all of these individuals are hardwired. Into the computer system and they make a point as to Paul is scanning them to say some of these individuals have been here for an extremely long period of time and there’s a lot of neural degradation. Their brains are breaking down. They’re able to identify mayweather locate him. Disconnect him and disconnect him in a way that I thought looked both realistic and a little more graphic than I anticipated. Yeah.
And gruesome the red blood like fluid coming out of the tubes that spraying everywhere as they’re pulling it out I was like okay that’s like that’s an interesting choice.
Yeah, it. It definitely included a layer of of it was kind of a gritty detail that didn’t I did not expect and so when he pulls the tube out of him and and I interpreted it completely as blood that. He pulls this thing out and here comes blood onto mayweather’s chest and they are dragging him out of the station. They get him off the ship and as they are trying to disconnect from the ship. The. Arms on the the ship are refusing to let go and it’s at this point that archer suggests to trip that it’s fine time for us to make our final payment and it turns out that the plasma that had been provided as payment had been armed so when they blow it up. It causes damage to the ship which then leads to a very nice sequence again back to a hard sci-fi footing reid says the damage wasn’t enough the the station hasn’t let us go and archer stands there and says it needs to reach four Thousand degrees. You need to give it a moment.
This is.
For it to ignite the Oxygen aboard the station and as that finally starts to happen the explosions in the station cover enough territory that the arms are letting go except for 1 and now they have to fire their way out of the station. In a sequence that I thought was as close as you can get to shooting handcuffs off of yourself while holding the pistol yourself archer has read fire a torpedo at a distance that’s literally just a few dozen meters from. Ship itself and reid’s response is I don’t think we should do that and he’s like we don’t have a choice and it takes 2 torpedoes to completely remove the arm once it’s removed they get the ship underway out of the station and then the station. Continues to have explosive collapse behind them as they leave appearing to blow up completely behind them all of that from the from just post the moment when reid and trip decide. They’re going to sneak through the air vents. The rest of the episode has a level of action and thriller aspect to it that I think is top notch I felt like this episode other than the misstep of that 1 sequence I felt like this episode was a great example of a tightly written bottle episode. To give you that old star trek sense of excitement and adventure of going in with a little bit of trepidation going in with optimism and need and when things start to break down finding some way to scramble back to safety. As opposed to it being the idealistic putting these characters in a position where they kind of solve some other planet’s problem. This really was just like they got a run this is this is kirk fighting the gourn this is like you got to piece something together to get out of here. Otherwise.
Yeah, no yeah.
Um, well this this episode I agree with you is for me was I liked the the act 1 and 2 of the show really was that slow burn building the mystery box creating some tension that you know something’s off but not quite.
You’re going to be torn apart.
And then when you have the turning point into act 3 It’s just like it’s action for the rest of the episode throughout. So It kind of it makes because it was a slow burn and then you have the action sequence for the remainder of the show. It makes the end of the show feel a little more intense than it would have been otherwise because you have that contrast between how it was built up and ramped up. So. From a storytelling point of view from a filmmaking point of view I really enjoyed this episode a lot I thought it was a very strong follow up to the previous episode which I Also really liked a lot So it’s like it’s 1 of those for me. It’s like this is where Enterprise is starting to find its footing for me as a show because season 1.
Hit or miss and there’s a whole bunch of episodes in a row that just felt like misfire after misfire after Misfire and this is where it’s like okay you guys seem to be finding a rhythm here just please stick with it because you’re finding your voice you’re finding the characters you’re finding how you want to tell a story each episode. So.
Will that continue we’ll we’ll we’ll find out but it’s it’s it’s it feels like season 2 is off to a better start than what season 1 had which isn’t too surprising.
Absolutely yeah I think that the training wheels are are definitely off at this point and I think that the actors all knew who they’re supposed to be and I think that with directors like Dawson. There’s ah, there’s an there’s a confidence when it comes to the storytelling. And the writers like Sussman and strong. They know what they’re they’re trying to get to I think that the ending of this episode is particularly strong when you have flocks explaining more for the viewer in that moment just kind of like putting a bow on it like as to paul said the. The brain damage to the other individuals aboard that station would have been so severe that they wouldn’t have been able to recover may whether we see him recovering in sick bay we know now that the station was built around the premise of effectively it’s It’s almost like again I think that I’m finding again and again the mixing of genres when you have sci-fi with a hint of horror. It becomes really compelling and it’s this to me is once again evoking the idea of the ghost story. This is like the ghost ship.
Where you end up with a vessel found adrift somewhere in a fog and the boarding party thinks oh we can just look around and see what we can find and then 1 of the 1 of them goes missing. And it seems innocuous enough at first. But when they find that person again. Something is wrong. Something is off. That’s what was happening here. It’s the the replacement of the body. The sci-fi aspects being there instead of it being ghosts and a haunted vessel. But the fact that. They found that the computer aboard that ship was actually the brains of these individuals who clearly had been tricked from their own ships in similar ways. This station takes payment in the form of passengers from the ships that come to it and the enterprise just being the first. Maybe only ship to find out what it was and then at the very end seeing that the debris the stinger at the end. The debris field of the space station and we see the arms beginning to move and we see the station beginning to rebuild itself and.
There’s fought back. Yeah, the I was I was gonna hit the Stinger. Ah.
I Don’t know about you but I couldn’t help I I do not think this is the case I am not saying that this is the case but I couldn’t help but think like is this some sort of borg thing is this is this some sort of thing that is just intended to be a proto borg like we will take.
Um, yet that crossed my mind too that crossed my mind too.
These things and use them and learn from them and we are absorbing information from the ships we are taking these things that are useful to us we are using them and if it’s being done in almost a testing the waters sort of thing I wonder what’s over in that quadrant and they put 1 of these things in Place. Just to harvest information just to harvest and learn I don’t think that’s actually what’s happening but part of me was just like the horror aspect of the borg was present in this station. The idea of harvesting individuals to become computer chips.
Um, yeah, ah they cry. Yeah yes.
Um I agree I agree that it crossed my mind too in that moment was this is very borg like and soon as I thought that I immediately was like that’s definitely not that what they were going for in this episode. They didn’t want to hint that this is the beginning of the borg.
In this. It’s a horror. It’s a horror element that I really enjoyed.
Yeah, yeah, yeah.
But what I did like I like your bringing back the whole we talked about this in season 1 the horror story aspect of this the camp fire stories and the fact that that stinger exists. It’s a campfire story. It’s like and then he chased the kid and kills all the kids and only 1 kid.
You know, killed them with fire then got away and then it’s like but then you see the hand come out of the flames and it’s like to be told again, it’s like it’s it’s very Halloween. It’s very you know freddie and Jason and all those kind of horror stories and I like that I like that they kind of get that little hint of like this thing’s still going to be wandering out there taking people a lot to make.
Yeah, right? yeah.
Right? yeah.
You know, new computers and so it’s it’s it’s I like that and you don’t ever have to revisit it again. It’s a nice bottle episode of this ghost story of the beware of the ship that repairs ships kind of a thing so I kind of like that.
Yeah I also couldn’t help but think was this a thing that was originally intended to be altruistic and that the designers did not realize that at some point the ship might begin. To do this kind of thing in order to improve its own capacity. You know could somebody have built this thing a thousand years ago and over time it began to break down and in order to repair itself. It computed. Well the most efficient computer available to me would be an organic brain and.
Would it take that next step on its own so it has layers to what this thing represents that makes me want to know more and at the end of an episode in particular to want to know more about what’s going on is what you hope for in a program like this. So.
Um, yeah.
Have it tease out your own curiosity even Beyond the end of the episode is very exciting. So I think that this is 1 of the stronger episodes we’ve looked at so far and I agree with you I think it’s it’s indicative that at this point enterprise was definitely on firm footing and and it. Hints toward strong storytelling ahead speaking of looking ahead next time we’re going to be talking about the episode a night in sick bay matt any speculation about what that’s going to be about.
I Think we’re probably going to be spending a little bit of time in Sick Bay at night.
And we’ll find out you’ve been wrong before but we’ll see.
Yes, a wife and oh if I have been wrong.
And before we sign off Matt is there anything you’d like to remind our listeners about what do you have coming up.
Just to check out our other check out out other show we do still to be determined which is a follow up podcast on the and from the undecided channel where we kind of follow up and viewer feedback and talk about the subject a little bit more just check out still to be determined. It’s everywhere. This. This show is so just go to your favorite podcast player and look for still to be determined and you can find us there.
And as for me, do check out my website seanferrell dot com you can also look for my books directly on Amazon or barns and noble or any bookstore that you like to make your purchases from my books are available pretty much everywhere. So I appreciate. You’re looking into that. Reminder you can visit trek intime show and you can directly support the podcast. We appreciate any kind of support and if it’s not able to be done that way just listening reviewing liking subscribing all of those help us as well. We appreciate, whatever kind of support. You’re able to give. Anybody has any comments or corrections. Please reach out after all if I’ve said tucker instead of trip and like Matt you don’t realize those are the same character and you want to say hey that’s the wrong name.
No I I do but it’s like but everybody calls him trip and so it’s like when you’re calling him Tucker was like everybody knows of this trip that was going through my head.
We really do like being corrected even when we’re ready correct that was a little Matt burn.
You can find our contact information.
Like I said like I said I Oh I’ve been wrong.
You can find the contact information in the podcast notes and on Youtube you can just scroll directly beneath the video and leave a comment there. Please do remember to subscribe to like the episode and to share it widely with your friends and strangers and to come back next time. Thanks so much for listening everybody. We’ll talk to you later.
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