Matt and Sean talk about zeros and heroes (and bombs). This is the big climatic season 3 ending to Star Trek Enterprise, but does it hold up?
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I got, I got it. Naysayers. Matt . Welcome to Trek in Time.
This is the show . This is the show. We’re watching every episode of Star Trek in chronological order. We’re also taking a look at what the world was like at the time of original broadcast. So we’re looking at things right now in 2004 because we’re in the third season of Enterprise, and here we are at the final episode.
I’m very excited that this season, Is coming to an end, not because I hated the season, but just because this is the season where I felt like, okay, this show is finding its footing and it’s been a, it’s been a lot of fun talking about these episodes and I’m now looking forward to jumping into season four.
Yep. In part because I am looking forward to getting to the next stage. It’s gonna take us half a year for our regular listeners who have been following us week by week. It will take us 24 weeks to get through season four. But I can’t wait to see where we land beyond that, Matt. Mm-hmm. , how are you feeling about the conclusion here of season three?
this is my favorite season of enterprise. Don’t wanna fores out too much for season four, but I don’t think Season four holds up as well to as season three, but mm-hmm. , I, I’m, this, I love the conclusion of the story. This entire season for me was just a, a, a really good hit, and it did feel like they hit their stride.
Mm-hmm. Really enjoyable. Before we get into the discussion on today’s episode, which as I mentioned before, is zero hour. We like to revisit comments from previous episodes. Matt, what did you see in the chatter?
The first one was from the last episode, 72 with the council. It was from Pego 69, and this happens from time to time.
Pego, and I’m sorry it happened to you. He wrote, Looks like YouTube deleted my comment and it was a doozy. I really wish I could have seen it cuz it sounds good. But he wrote it was mostly about the Xindi gas lighting and enabling abusers with a good dash of, oh my God, the people who destroyed our planet can’t be trusted.
I liked his summary of his previous comment that he was obviously not gonna rewrite because it was probably a doozy.
That is a very good summary of the three non-com combative Xindi species reflections around the insects and the Italians like, you kidding me? The ones who planted the bombs, the blew her planet.
They’ve been doing shenanigans. Holy cow. . Thank you. Pale Ghost. I hadn’t considered that one, but you’re right on the money.
Yeah. And then the next comment I wanted to bring up was from, actually it’s, I was saying to Sean before that we recorded the show, it’s kind of fun to see as the longer we’ve been doing this, we’re now getting people coming into track and time at different.
Periods of our show, which is evergreen. It’s like you don’t have to watch in real time with us, but there’s some, there’s a comment coming in on episode 48, first flight from Lonnie. Again, a cool review. I loved your taking the charges they sent into the dark matter nebula as a metaphor for Archer’s narrative of his story, as well as the interp interpretation that to Paul’s willingness to turn around so quickly, explains why it took vul.
So long to evolve Warp Drive. Overall, I like the flashback story which showed why Archer is so upset with the Vulcans and how his friendship with the, with Trip actually began. Yeah. And it kind of, it was fun to kinda read that comment cuz it was like, yeah that was an interesting, I like the way they built the character of, uh, trip in Archer and kind of explored that a little bit more.
And you know, we’ve, we’ve kind of dinged the show for leaning too much on the stuff we already know, but it still was interesting to see how they were showing how Vulcans and humans. Were interacting at the beginning of their relationship and how Vulcans were not necessarily holding us back, but they were really slow rolling everything and how it impacted humans and how humans viewed Vulcans in the beginning.
It was kind of fun. Yeah, a little fan servicey, but it was, it’s still fun.
There’s a, there’s a balancing act whenever you deal with a prequel, and that’s effectively what enterprise is and it’s what strange new worlds and discovery are. And I think there’s room when you have a universe as big as the Star Trek universe or analogously, the Star Wars universe, there’s plenty of room for peoples.
I don’t have a problem with prequels per se, but my difficulty is when it looks like you don’t actually have a story to tell, you’re. Dipping into fan service, and I think that the early days of enterprise, it felt a little too fan service-y. Yeah. And episodes like First Flight were a nice demonstration of how it didn’t have to.
Rely so heavily on that, it could be a crutch. That noise in the background can meet only one thing. That’s our read alert. That means, of course it’s time to get ready for the Wikipedia description. And Matt, I did shave a tiny bit off the beginning of this description, but pretty much this is the entire thing in in text.
So once you have a go, okay,
zero hours. The 24th and final episode are the third season of the American Science Fiction television series, star Trek Enterprise, the 77th episode. The first aired on May 26th, 2004, on the UPN network within the United States. Okay, set In the 22nd secondary. The series follows the adventures at the first Star Fleet, Starship Enterprise Registration NX oh one season three of Enterprise features an ongoing story following an attack on Earth by the previously unknown aliens called.
The Xindi in this episode, sub Commander Teal leads the enterprise on an attack on Sphere 41 in an attempt to destroy the sphere network with the del within the Delph expanse. Meanwhile, a team led by Captain Jonathan Archer has infiltrated the Xindi weapon while it is an in route to the earth. Both the spheres and the weapon are destroyed, but Archer is lost, presumed dead enterprise returns to earth, but the crews suddenly find that they have been sent back in time to a very different second world war.
That would be an understatement for that last sentence that we we’re gonna have to talk about that ending. Yeah, we are, we’re,
oh boy, are we? Oh yeah. I also like that this Wikipedia description inadvertently highlights my biggest problem with. Most of this summary is about literally the last five minutes of the show.
Yep. Everything that happens prior to that. As I mentioned in my opening line, we’re gonna talk about how a little action goes a long way. Matt, spoiler alert, I wasn’t crazy about this episode. Okay. I did not. I felt it was anti-climactic and we’re gonna get into. That very ending. And we’re gonna get into some other things around the thinking of the writing of the show and where Berman and Bragga, and we’ve had a couple of episodes where we have said not always a great sign when the two of them are doing the writing duties, what they were thinking, what they did, and why they did it.
Hmm. So we’re gonna get into those things. In a little bit, but first, as Matt just mentioned, this episode from May 26th, 2004 zero hour, season three, episode 24, directed by Alan Kroger, a director who has done very strong work in a number of episodes. He directed Season Two’s closing and season three’s opener.
It was effectively a two-parter, and he’s doing fine work here as well, although I will say with material that’s not quite up to snuff. It’s episode. This episode was written by Rick Berman and Brandon Bragga. Boy do I have notes guest stars include at this point. Now it’s all the indies that we’ve been seeing up to this point.
Scott McDonald, Rick Worthy, Tucker Smallwood, jot DeCarlo, Bruce Thomas, Andrew Bba. Matt Winston. Mary Mara, Ruth Williamson. Jeffrey Combs. Gunther Ziegler, j Paul Bower, Zachary Krebs, and a little lesson to the uninitiated. And I fell into this trap myself so I know of what I speak. If you wanna be surprised by plot twists, don’t read the guest stars as they show up on the opening credits.
That’s right. Jeffrey Combs, his name popped up and immediately I was like, oh yeah, the andorians are in this one. Yeah. Little things like that. I wish I hadn’t seen that name. So on this date in. May 26th, 2004. What was going on, Matt? Well, I know you’ll remember this. You were still dancing a little hard out too.
This Love by Maroon. That’s right. Mm-hmm. , Matt, break into it now real quick for us. Okay. We had to edit that out because Matt was so off key, , but it, it was a good attempt. It was this close. And the movies. Well, a little film called Shrek two struggled to make an impact at the box office earning only $108,038,878.
That last $8 was Matt’s $8 . This of course, is the Michael Myers, Eddie Murphy sequel to the Hit Shrek. Little fun fact about this opening. It broke finding Nemo’s animated film opening box office record by nearly 40 million. Wow. This was a huge success and on television for Enterprise the last time that we compare Enterprise to any Wednesday night programming.
That’s right. This is the final episode that aired on a Wednesday night. At this point in the season, rumors had been swirling that UPN would be canceling enterprise after the third season. In hindsight, and we’ll figure this out, moving forward into season four, maybe this would’ve been a fantastic way to end the series, like a really strong, cohesive storyline about meeting a new species with this kind of.
Effort to save Earth and culminating in unifying a bunch of people together with the echoes rippling forward of, yes, this is how the Federation starts. This is where we could end up. Maybe this would’ve been a great ending. UPN does not cancel it at the end of season three. They give it a fourth season, but they move it to the graveyard of Friday night programming.
Mm-hmm. , this episode to me looks like a Friday night show. And what do I mean by that? Friday night is an evening of programming that is usually dedicated to much younger viewers. It’s typically the places. You’re night riders, you’re 18. Mm-hmm. , you’re shows that are, are action shows, looking for a younger audience that’s just interested in seeing the people run around and smash each other on the mouth as opposed to a little more dialogue and a little more discussion.
This episode felt like that to me. It almost felt like it was a proof of concept to UPN that we could make it on Friday nights if we just turned this into an action series. But here on this date, May 26th, 2000. What was enterprise up against? Well, my wife and kids was having a two-parter earning almost 8 million viewers.
The Academy of Country Music Awards was on CBS with 11 million. A little program, you may not remember this, Matt. This is American Idol, had almost 30 million viewers. Law and Order. Another show that struggled to make it on television, in a repeat, had 6 million viewers, and on the wb, well, the WB just kept throwing mud at the wall to see what would stick with their little branding idea called Flick from the Frog.
That’ll. Yeah. Who doesn’t wanna tune in for flicks from the Frog, Matt, so that you could watch Ace Ventura Pet Detective, a movie, 19 94, 10 years old at that point, earned 2.7 million viewers. Enterprise on UPN with the season finale had 3.9 million, so went up a little bit. Enterprise is just like sticking in that zone of, it’s got a, it’s got its core audience.
It’s not gaining, it’s not losing, it’s just holding. That core audience even went up against flicks from the frog. And in the news on this day? Well, there were a lot of things going on in Iraq still. The scandals of Agra were continuing to expand abuses by the US military. There were continuing to raise questions and concerns, but in the New York Times, there was a report that President Bush’s plan for Iraq was largely getting support from European nations.
There was also a discovery by archeologists. In Egypt who discovered what they thought was the world’s oldest university, it dated from the fifth century ad. They also found what appeared to be the world’s oldest keg party,
KEG stands and in the US FBI director Robert Mueller, remember him. And the United States Attorney General John Ashcroft stated that Al-Qaeda might be planning a terrorist attack over the coming months. Multiple FBI officials contended that there is no recent intelligence to suggest a significant change in the US security situation, and critics question the validity of the timing of the public warning, considering that at this point in May, the US presidential election was only about five months.
Also Phish announced that it was disbanding, and of course they announced at the time that they would disband immediately after recording one last song at last report. They still haven’t finished that song.
how do you really feel about Phish
So some quick bullet points for the listeners. And the viewers around plot points for this episode, so I’m just gonna run through these real quick. DePaul is leading an attack on Sphere 41 in a dangerous zone of altered space, which the builders of the spheres have created in order to try and protect the sphere, which gives the enterprise only 15 minutes to disrupt the.
And alter the way the expanse is functioning. Guardians attack and disrupt the enterprise and flocks comes to the rescue with his previous studies around what the Guardian physiology is to give guidance to the security personnel so that the weapons would actually have some effect. Archer is forcing.
And Cito to help figure out the routines needed to disarm and destroy the super weapon. Daniels once again shows up to take Archer to the future. This time only taking him a few years. I think he mentions a seven year gap. Mm-hmm. in which he shows Archer a future in which Archer will be on hand to help sign the federation into existence.
Along with the Andorians, the tele rights and the Vulcans shrank. Arrives in the pursuit of the super weapon to give Archer some cover so that they can actually attack the super weapon. The Xindi allies do basically nothing. That’s right. Trip toys. The sphere in their enterprise attack on the sphere and the network of spheres begins to collapse in dramatic fashion.
The Xindi reptilian commander Dom is bigger than you’d think and looks almost like a comically costumed human with a tremendous amount of. Doum dies, the weapon is destroyed, and Reed and the AWAY team return to the enterprise without Archer reporting that he is clearly missing and presumed dead.
Mm-hmm. The enterprise returns to Earth. They are attacked when they arrive at Earth by World War II airplanes over San Francisco. And then there’s a cutaway to reveal that Nazis have a prisoner. It is Archer and the Nazis include bu bum, bum and alien. Okay, so can I make a, I just throw those out there as major plot points.
I was gonna say my, my major suggestion is, let’s hold off in any discussion about the World War ii.
Yeah. Until the end. Yeah,
because I have a feeling that could distract from pretty much everything, at
least for me. Yes. It really is a, it is. This is a discussion of two episodes. Yes. There’s everything up to, okay, they’re done, and then there’s what happens after they’re done.
So at a high level, I think I like this episode more than you. I’ll say that right up front. I’m pretty sure I like this better than you did, and I don’t, you made a comment talking about how like it felt like a Friday kind of TV show to you where it was all action and all this kinda stuff. I don’t think that was a problem because this is a season long culmination to this episode.
And then like any big movie sci-fi adventure, of course it’s gonna be all action at the end. It’s like that’s the climax, the whole thing. So it’s like that didn’t bother me too much at all.
But, but there were
quite a few, huh? Kind of things that happened with the writing with, I hate to be the guy that’s like pushing his glasses up, going, the photon Torpedoes came outta the Faser Banks, but there were a whole bunch of things that were kind of like, well, that’s convenient.
Uh mm-hmm. in the writing. Oh, Phlox just came up with this gases thing that he could put in the ship and suddenly everybody can exist inside. This, the, the, around the sphere for 15 minutes. It’s like, well, that’s convenient. Yeah. It made no sense to me because literally, like in the previous episode, we saw when the sphere builders created that massive warp effect and they were destroying ships
left and right with that warp effect.
Yeah. Why weren’t they doing that again? Yeah. This time all they were doing was just kind of a, a wavy thing that they could actually go into for 15 minutes. It’s like, wait. They couldn’t push that same button and pull that same lever that makes that thing go. W And then the enterprise is literally
You’re touching, you’re touching on an element that is part of my, this is like a Friday night show for kids Yes. Sort of argument, which is Yes. It depends entirely on, you’re not actually remembering anything from the previous. They give you the previously on only to catch you up to major plot points, but as far as what happens in within the show, it’s like they’re just making up magic as they move.
But they could have, but my problem is they could have made up magic in a different way. So like
it could have
still been that wavy, weird, you know, space thing that was created, but maybe they discovered a way that they could create some kind of phase shift of the enterprise that went in, but they were only gonna have enough power and ability to maintain that for 15 minutes.
Yeah. And it wouldn’t have been the, we’re gonna put gas through the whole thing and we’ll be able to be in her. That made no
sense. It feels to me like this is the first draft. And it was a first draft that was written without any input from any of the previous writing team to, like, they have a room full of writers, they have all these different people and they had, it didn’t feel like they had anybody connect the dots between this episode and all the previous stuff.
Like you’re talking like creating a, some kind of, of warp bubble around the ship in order to protect it from that stuff. Uh, the impact of gas on something that they previously stated was operating on a quantum. How does that work? Like this is, this is as sci-fi is getting about as soft into soft sci-fi as you can get before crossing the line into it being just magic.
And that’s it’s, it’s a lot of techno B that doesn’t make any sense. And so I have a huge problem with all of that, but that to me isn’t even the biggest issue. . The biggest issue is that when you remove all of that techno ba, you’re left with literally just people running around in front of explosions for a good part of this.
And it’s, it to me, felt anti-climactic. And I understand when you get to the end of a storyline that revolves around, we have to stop the super weapon, you’re gonna have action. But the parts of this that were the most compelling, . I don’t know why they didn’t rely more on the psychological trauma that Sodo has been going through.
Her elements around having to decipher the routine in order to disable and thereby destroy the weapon. Mm-hmm. , it felt like, I thought it was leading to a moment of her. Hallucinating and doubting herself and having to work herself through her doubt based on the reliance of Archer on her, in effect, her having more faith in his faith in her than she has in herself.
Mm-hmm. , and therefore overcoming that doubt and being able to do that work. But it turned into like a blip. It was like, well, the most interesting component of it could have been that, and then you would’ve had a lot more tension, I think, in the will. They disarm the bomb in the right way. Instead, they just, it was just left entirely to a one line of like, oh, I dropped the data pad, but I remember it’s number four, so just do that.
And it felt like all the tension was sucked out of that instead of it being heightened. I didn’t understand the logic of that.
I will agree with you. The, the part of this episode that was the most compelling to me was the whole SODO stuff. Yeah. I thought that was the most compelling emotional connection we had, and they could have leaned that more and they did short change it a hundred percent.
And in fact, I would make the argument of, one of the things that was happening that drove me nuts was that Archer was the one that had to be the last man on the ship. And he’s like, no, I’m doing this as my command. They should have, in my opinion, made it about so, At the end where the captain is there, he’s doing his stuff and the Soto makes the, basically tells the captain, you have to let me do this.
Yeah. And like she’s the one that’s left on the ship having to do it on her own. And then she’s the one that vanishes at the end and they think that she’s gone. And she’s the one that we’re not gonna talk about the weird World War II ending, but she could have been the one that ended. There. So it’s like it didn’t have to be the Captain Archer.
It didn’t have to be him. It could have been somebody else, and it should have been her because it was her story. It would’ve been her overcoming what happened to her in the previous episodes and showing how she triumphed over it, her coming face to face with the reptilians, and basically finding her footing again, and finding herself again, and finding her voice.
It’s like that would’ve been far more compelling, but they just shortchange that. I do want to highlight, there are some, it’s kind of fan servicey things, but like you mentioned like Jeff Combs, it’s like the whole Andorian thing. I love that. I love the fact that they came in and helped. So there were elements that I thought worked and then flocked to the rescue with his whole used this frequency.
Yeah. I thought that was actually pretty cool. But then when we got to see them using their phases, It was doing nothing. It was anti it almost through and all news walking backwards and it was like, what? What this, that makes them walk backwards. It’s like, why weren’t they showing them like me in pain or something that was causing them to phase?
It’s like, set your phases to this frequency. It’ll turn it into a dance ray and they’ll moonwalk off the ship. Yes. It’s, it’s a, for me, as I was watching this, I kept going back to, I think the, the most analogous set of episodes to this is the best of both worlds from Next Generation. Yeah. Which is of course, when the Bo take Picard, convert him into Le Cuts, and then go to Attack Earth and you have the climactic space battle.
That takes place at Wolf 3 59 that we don’t even get to see much of, but is one of the all time greatest moments in star Trek history. Mm-hmm. , um, and then it, and then they get to earth, the Borg ship gets to Earth, and then you have the climactic battle where the enterprise attacks and Commander Riker and they have to then steal Picard back and disconnect them.
And I felt like. None of the positive lessons of that episode, and that episode is a beautiful balance of action. You get the kidnapping of lo cuts is a great sequence where they go on the Borg ship and you get those moments of the phases and the borgs and the shielding, and they manage to get leus and get him back to the ship.
But it also has the component of people effectively explaining and intellectualizing. How to solve this problem. It’s not about if we just punch this bo ship as strong as we can, we’ll, we’ll destroy it. One of my favorite moments of that is the element where data is in conversation with L Cuts and Picard says, sleep.
You see data working his way through. Like he may be giving us guidance. He may be giving us the path to, to get out of this problem. I wanted that facade. I wanted that for her. And the description you just gave of like how you could have reached a moment of her arguing like, I need to be willing to do this.
Mm-hmm. would’ve been the perfect moment of. And it all started with her in a scene, which was very, very well done, and it had such gravitas, her hallucinating and incapable of holding a conversation with Archer as they’re on de ship, trying to catch up with the weapon and Archer, basically taking a sick and extremely injured woman and forcing.
to do work, to be able to, to figure something out, to crack codes and figure out a sequence is. , it lays such interesting groundwork that it doesn’t have a payoff at the end is so disappointing. So that element for me just just stood out as a big problem, and I agree with everything you’re saying. Like I liked Fox’s involvement as being a part of the Bridge crew.
I liked the fact that he came up with a solution of like, I’ve studied that that individual, we found so much. I know some elements that you could use, and again, It didn’t have to be a moonwalk off the ship. It could have been like, show them reacting in pain. Show them stunned and saying like, how did they figure this out?
Do something like that when you have. Guardians show up and effectively just act like ghosts on the ship, walking through walls, putting their hands into things and disrupting things, but not even talking to each other. Yeah. I found that very like, like what? What is this? I mean, why even put an individual on at that point?
Why not it just show some sort of like they can do stuff to the ship at a distance? I don’t know if,
I dunno if you picked up on it, they were behaving like, Yeah, the way they moved about the ship, they would just look at each other, or not even look at each other and then in sync, like lean over and do stuff.
And it was like, it was very Borg like. It was kinda like, as I’m watching this, I’m like, really guys?
It was a shortcut. It seemed like a very much a shortcut. There’s also Daniel showing up. As soon as Daniel showed up, I was just like, I like the fact that we’re giving the moment to say like, Archer’s future within the future of the federation is critical.
But I mean, come on, we like too much time travel at this point. Too much dipping in and out of things at this point. And like I mentioned in my bullet point notes, the Xindi allies give him something to do. Like at this point they should have been. I wanted to see at least one of the Xindi saying, saying, we took this.
Way too far based on blind faith. And now we own responsibility for what’s happening. Yes, exactly. And working really, really hard to stop it. And that might have included, and I think this would’ve made sense within the story, if one of the Xindi that we’ve seen, either on aquatic that we’ve seen the humanoid or the the last one, one of them dying.
Would’ve made sense within this story of some kind of sacrifice in order to say like, there’s only one way for us to do this thing, and that means somebody has to do this thing that’s gonna kill them. And having one of those people run into a room and do something dramatic in order to save the human effort, that would have done so much for this episode and really demonstrated.
What is the relationship? What is the potential future relationship between the Xindi and humanity? We know that in the far future, the Xindi are part of the federation, but you just envision, I couldn’t help but envision. How does, after all this is done, if the enterprise is successful, how does Archer go and convince Earth that a follow on attack against the Xindi is not?
And the potential of a scene where you see another Xindi follow in DS footsteps of saying like, I’m willing to use my life in order to undo this mistake that we’ve made because it’s so dramatically obvious to us now that we’ve been trusting on Be Faith, a group of people who do not care about us. I think that would’ve served the episode really well.
I also agree with you that Shrine arriving. First of all, it makes perfect sense. We’ve seen him already get into the expanse. We know that they have the ability to travel faster than humans, and we also know that his ship is loaded for bear. So when he gets into a toe-to-toe battle and his ship is able to withstand the attack, and in fact able to destroy.
The Reptilian Z Indy ship. I thought that all of that was terrific and I, and I loved the sequence. It was one of the few times actually in Star Trek where they’re giving a little bit of a tactical approach to how the action is unfolding. His repeated commands to Archer. And the on der ship of like, stay beneath us, you gotta stay beneath us.
And like showing a sequence, which followed that kind of direction. So it became really dramatic and it became strategically. Logical as opposed to sometimes in star Trek you’re watching a lot of action and you’re like, why does it look like they’re flying the wrong direction and weren’t they going the other way?
And where did those other two ships come from? And how come like sometimes it gets a little too chaotic, but this, I thought the action sequences were really well thought out. And I love trends response to the situation of now you. Like we’ve got this little back and forth game going and him making a point of saying like, I know what you’re doing is important and it’s worth me being here and making the sort of joke of, and now you owe me one.
Can I also point out one thing? Yeah. There was a, a line that happened in the episode that had me and my wife laughing. Pretty hard when the, the mysterious gas that’s making them be able to withstand 15 minutes and their skin is getting worse and worse and worse. Yeah. And they’re looking like they’re turning into like, you know, some kind of like dried earth
There was the line from, I think it was. Reed? No, it wasn’t Reed. It was somebody else on the bridge that said, doc, there’s something that happened to my skin trip. Yeah. Trip. And then Travis yells out, me Too. . It’s just the way Travis jumped on that, like it came across as if Travis, I could totally see him in his head being like freaking out at what’s happened to himself.
But he doesn’t wanna be the one to say anything. He’s just gonna stay focused. Everybody’s staying focused. I’m doing my job. But then as soon as somebody. What’s going on with her skin. He’s like, thank God I’m not the only one. What the hell’s going on? Yeah.
I just, I like that. It makes you wonder if Travis at that point is so focused on his work that he’s thinking like, I really need to get some, some hand lotion because my , my skin is so dry.
Yeah. That’s sequence of, of conversation. I, I found a little inadvertently comical. It was comical trip saying, saying like, there’s something happening to my skin. I’m like, Who is he saying that for? Yes. We in the audience are wa literally watching this. Yes. So we can see all of them have that happening.
Was it really necessary for somebody on the bridge to say, Hey guys, I think we’re in trouble. I think some, I think some bad stuff is happening to us. It was, it was the Travis
line that got us laughing the hardest cause it’s just how exuberant he was with like, me too. You .
So our conversation is, it feels like our conversation has moved on at a very fast clip because as I’ve previously mentioned, it’s a lot of action.
So we get through to basically the last third of the episode, and it’s all about, yeah, like, will the, will the weapon be blown up? And the answer is yes, because again, Archer’s doing like mumbo jumbo. Like here’s what we do. There’s seven pipes and we just invert the seven pipes and then everything will be great, but we have to do it in the right order because that’s how space magic works.
So he has to do it in the right order. And SADO is giving him that order. He’s able to do all of that, but it all culminates in, of course, the big fist fight that we’ve all been clamoring for. I don’t really clamor for fist fights in shows like this. You don’t need it. And like one of the nicest, culminating scenes in Star Trek history.
The defeat of Con, which does not take place with Kirk and Con standing on ACA punching each other out. Yeah. You see con spitting out Shakespearean lines and dying in a Super Nova like explosion. You don’t get. Face to face, Hey, we gotta, like, now I’m gonna knock your teeth out. And that’s what makes me the hero.
The same thing happens later in in enterprise or it’s star Trek, episode six, when you have Christopher Plumbers incredibly well rendered Klingon commander who dies as a result of a single photon torpedo that is able to comb me in on his ship and he again drops a Shakespearean line. Then is followed closely by his death.
You do not need to have that. All right, we’re gonna go at it now, but we get that here. And it felt very anti-climatic and gruesome and points silly because Doum looks suddenly like a guy wearing a whole lot of padding it. It did not look good to.
At one point during the fight, I actually turned to my wife cuz there was a series of punches that they were doing that felt like it was
right out of the original
series, fight scenes, which were highly choreographed, very slow, and you could tell it was just this slow dance that these two men were doing.
And it was like, it was like, okay, now you’re gonna get to, right now you hear
somebody off camera going, holding your gut. Holding your gut. Yeah. So
it’s like, it felt very original series, fight to. And then at the end, the way he blows him up by putting the thing on his back, it was like, this is not star Trek.
It was, it felt really bizarre that it’s like, yeah, Archer turns into a cold blooded killer and with a dead pan faces rolls behind the
blows. A guy up. It was like that. It was like a die hard moment. It was like you expected Archer at that point to say, Yippy. Cae motherfucker. So it was, yeah, it’s like it’s not, it’s
not a scene where it’s like the audience is gonna be going.
Yeah. I was sitting there going, what? Yeah, what it was happening.
Disturbing. Now there’s a puddle of doum to deal with. Yeah. So they end up with that. And then there’s literally sequences of running from fireballs in Slowmo, and there’s action sequences that revolve around. A never seen before crewman who gets into what felt like an overly long kung fu fight with a reptilian.
Yeah. Yep. Where some of the energy and effort went in. This I found really confusing. Like we’re supposed to like hope that this guy we’ve never seen before wins his fist fight. Like what’s going on with the people who are trying to blow up the bomb? Like go back to them. I understand that people are fighting all over this weapon, trying to stop them, but put your emphasis on the right part of the show and the right characters.
I couldn’t help it feel like they got so distracted by little minutiae. Ultimately the weapon is destroyed. Read in the team, make it back. Archer has commanded them, like, I gotta be the last one on the ship because I’m the main character on the show. And if I’m not the last person on the ship, then why am I the main character on the.
it feels very silly. His argument, and ultimately Reid and the team make it back and have the sad news to report that we Archer didn’t make it back with us. So we end up with a sad conclusion to all of this. Wrapped up in all of this are all of these elements of, remember at the beginning of the season, Remember how long it took the enterprise to get to, not just into the Expanse, but to the expanse.
Yep. Do you remember how long it took them to find their way in the expanse to where they are now? Mm-hmm. and yet Xindi Space Magic allows them to get to Earth in. No time. No time at all, and back again in no time at all. It’s, there’s a lot of spacey, wasy, timey, wimy, like, don’t worry about things. It’s just a story sort of stuff that I found very distracting.
It, I found myself thinking again and again. They don’t really, they really don’t care about the previous episodes and the previous storytelling and it, I found it very distracting. Yeah.
I will say for me, I’m agreeing with you that there’s a lot of problems, but those problems didn’t distract me to the point where I was not happy with the way the overall story ended.
It’s like it didn’t make the last 23 episodes a waste of time for me. It did not distract for me. So it’s like, I still think this was an overall really well executed season for this show. Um, and I’m very happy with kind of how the whole thing happened. Yeah, some serious issues with this final episode, but I didn’t think it was that bad.
Until, can I interrupt real quick before you get into this last part, which we’ve talked now for about 40 minutes, about that much of the show. I do not want us to talk for 40 minutes about the last five minutes of the show, although I think we could. Yes. But I did wanna say I agree with you. I do not think that this final episode removes anything from the season.
I think it is any a very good overall. Season. My problem with this final episode is if this is your final episode, you could have distilled it down. And expand it a little bit in the previous two episodes and make it a true, like give us more of the best parts of the previous two to really give us solid storytelling to give us a final episode that has more of what came in the previous episode.
A little more talking, a little more character development, a little more stuff around sodo, a little bit more of an opportunity to. These are characters who are really getting through a moment as opposed to, these are things running away from Fireballs, which is how a lot of this last episode felt. But it doesn’t take away from maybe overall impact of the season as a really great take on Trek.
And I really did enjoy season three. Yeah. And now we reach. The final five minutes of the episode, which should just be titled
wtf. That’s all I’ll say. Mm-hmm. . It was this whole sequence at the end. I remember vividly when this actually aired of me having this exact same feeling of like, what are you doing?
Yeah. Like what? The hell. It’s like, this is not how you create a cliffhanger to make me wanna watch the next season. The epitome of perfection for that was what you brought up with, uh, the, the next generation, that season break between Riker going fire, cuz he’s going to blow up the Borg ship. Yeah. And then it cuts to credits and I remember.
Yelling out loud. No. Cause I knew it was gonna be an entire like, you know,
five months you wait all summer to get to the next one. Yeah. That was
a genius cliffhanger between seasons. Absolutely. Is the exact
of that. Yeah. This was a wtf. What the hell you doing? Ridiculousness of, wait, we’re doing tiny wimy stuff again?
Yeah. Like you’re using this as a linchpin to get us into the next season and what the, an alien in World War II come, come.
It was just like it. It’s
just, this is where I agree with you when you said, this is like the Friday night storytelling TV show. Yeah, yeah. This ending is the epitome
of that, and I remember is absolutely the epitome of that.
This, this ending is like any ending of any episode of the TV series V. This ending is like the ending of. Episode of Season Cliff Hangers for shows like Night Rider and the original Battlestar Galactica. This is, this is a season ending that reminded me of, of something they would do with Buck Rogers.
And this ending, you could have swapped out like alien Nazis with, I couldn’t help but think of like a dozen different funny closing shots of. A hospital, the camera pans up and Archer is shown as being pregnant. Uh, you know, like somebody is laying flowers on a gravestone and the camera pans up and it says, Jonathan Archer, born in the future, died in the past.
Like, like, like just the scenarios, just anything ridiculous would have fit just as much. And it’s this kind of thing that Future Rama was built to. The show Future Ram like would throw stuff like this and build entire episodes around this kind of hokey sci-fi storytelling. And ultimately in my research on this episode, there were some notes I found that kinda like put the cherry on top of all this for me.
Like I mentioned earlier, prior to the broadcast of the finale, there were rumors that the series was gonna be canceled up. PN decided to keep the series, moved it to Friday nights. As I mentioned, my speculation, this is entirely mine. This feels almost like a proof of concept that they were saying.
Brennan and Bragga were saying to B and Bragga were saying to. The network. Oh no. We can do a Friday night action show. Don’t worry. Just watch this. Well, I, well,
before you go on, I remember, I recall that there was, at the time that this was happening, there was talk about how the show is gonna go back to the more like serialized, like standalone.
Yeah. Episodes and less of the story arc. And I remember when I remember reading that thinking, no, you’re taking the wrong lesson of the failures here. Yeah. It wasn’t the fact that you did an overarching story over season that was the problem. It was your execution. Elements of that, what drove viewers away.
Yeah. And it was maddening to me of that. They didn’t see what seemed obvious to me as a viewer. Yeah, but
what the hell are you doing? Another note that I found was that the idea that the enterprise would be successful in its mission was planned from the start of the development of the year long storyline to which my response was, my god.
I would hope so, yes. But ultimately, this is the biggest note that I found the producers and writing team would joke. There needed to be a bizarre twist at the end of the series, such as the Earth returning and discovering the earth, the enterprise returning to earth, and discovering that it was now ruled by giant cockroaches.
The writers decided against a Xindi based cliffhanger and saw an unusual twist. Braga said. Quote, I can’t remember who said Nazis, but we just somehow ended up with Nazis. Then that didn’t even feel like enough, so we decided to make them alien. Nazis close quote. He expected it would make the returning episode in season four.
Really interesting. Close quote and wanted to end the series on something, quote, wacky. Most of the cast were not given the final few pages of the script until they were already in production. Dominic Keating, who plays Malcolm Reed was quoted as saying that the ending had a lovely twist that just makes you scratch your head and wonder at what you’ve just seen.
I think that that is him putting the best spin possible. Yes. On it. Yes, because that quote is from an interview he did on June 7th. Shortly after this episode would’ve aired so clearly to me, he is saying like, oh yeah, we thought it was a lovely twist because it was twilight zoning as opposed to what.
And in reviews of this episode again and again and again from places like IGN and Trek Nation, this episode gets incredibly low scores from those places. Most of which rely entirely on the ending that, yep, this, what the heck is happening. Ending is more of a distraction than anything. And when the thinking of this ending goes, comes from the quotes I I shared previously where Brag is saying, we could have done anything, like the Earth is now ruled by cockroaches.
Somebody said Nazis, and then we made it wack. Dear God, like, because you know
what? Star Trek viewers are looking for wacky. We’re
all looking for wacky. That’s not it. I’m just, I was dumbfounded by that quote. And the episode is the two parter where the conclusion, which will be the first episode of season four is storm front.
And the final note is the twist is wrapped up at the start of season four. I. Help but breathe a sigh relief to know that this is a plot point that will be wrapped up. Because I mean, is there a point where they thought that, I know, let’s take Scott back hill and make him a time traveler. That’s never been done before.
is there. I can’t help but wonder if during the summer after seeing responses to this show, if they didn’t take. Like hear a record scratch and say like, oh, people aren’t really into this, so let’s not make this the new take on the series. Because this to me had a whiff of they really didn’t know what to do.
They had no idea where to go, and they threw this at the wall to see if it would stick, and it clearly didn’t. And I found it so incredibly disappointing and distracting and just goofy this,
it came across as they completely ran out. Yeah. Like we are out of ideas and we have no idea what the audience wants anymore, so let’s just do Nazis with an alien Nazi on the planet.
And to take it back to quantum leave, it would’ve been funnier to me if they had had the Nazi come out and then like take out a little hand hill device that was like the little Ziggy device and hammered against the hand and have it make the Ziggy sound. It’s like
this was ridiculous. And have absolutely, and, and har Archer look right at the camera and go, oh boy.
Yeah, . And then I found myself thinking, well, , if not alien, Nazis. What? And I feel like the writing in this episode that they had written themselves so into a corner, that I don’t know what ending would make sense. And that is a failure of planning. Mm-hmm. , there was nothing here to drop elements of even Daniels showing up and saying like, you’ve gotta survive because you’ve gotta be one of these four, like, There could have been at that moment, anything at the end, I think I would’ve appreciated potentially a conclusion that just relied on.
Here’s the enterprise, stuck deep in what used to be the expanse. They have the very dramatic spheres imploding the network of spheres imploding, which again, spacey, wasy, timey, wimy. Energy can only move so fast. So the fact that they destroy one sphere and then within moments the entire network collapses.
I found that all very like, well, that’s convenient. Like, mm-hmm. like, like they’re just doing too much, like waving their hand and saying, now things are perfect. Like they’ve removed all elements of tension from the episode, so they don’t have anything to fix. For a next step, but I would’ve appreciated the enterprise sitting alone in space and then perhaps being approached by some Xindi vessels and the Xindi different cohorts, looking to the earth ship and saying, can you help us?
Like what can we do? We’ve focused so long on the wrong things and been so misguided for so long, we don’t know where to go. Can you help us? And having Archer and the enterprise crew looking around at each other like, we’ve been looking forward to getting home, but do we just leave these people who are now asking for help?
I got a
different one for you, Sean. What would that be? Why not have the enterprise, which was by the sphere, when the sphere went off and they were changing space. So what if the explosion of this thing going out, like knocked the enterprise into a parallel dimension or sent them time Do a mirror. Mirror episode.
Yeah, exactly. So the captain who’s over by the earth, is over by earth. He’s still where he’s supposed to be. He’s not the one that’s been sent into weird World War II land, but the enterprise has been like phased somewhere else because of the explosion they caused with the sphere. That might’ve been more interesting.
Yeah, . And it would also been a little sci-fi magic, but at least it would’ve made sense within the realm of what happened, and you wouldn’t be left to the end of the episode going, wait, what? Wait, what? Why? Why are we suddenly back in time? Yeah. It would’ve been easier to explain. And on top of which the, what’s the newest show?
Oh, one of the newer Star Trek shows. I’m blanking on it. The one would you,
Michael? It’s Lower
Decks. No, the one with Michael. Michael .
What is the name of the show? Discovery. Discovery. Thank you.
Discovery did exactly what I’m talking about. Like the, have you watched that show?
I’ve watched the first two seasons.
I have not watched the
complete run. Okay. I won’t give anything away, but there, there’s something that happens in that show where it’s like they. They do things with the, their ship that goes places and does things like what I’m talking about here. And it’s really cool, very clever. And it allows the show to reinvent itself.
And that show specifically reinvents itself like three times. Yeah. And it’s really cool each time they do it. Um, they could have had fun with that, with this, with this enterprise and this crew. Um, but it just showed that they were completely out of.
Yeah. It goes back to something we’ve talked about previously, which is the producers seem to be suffering from star Trek exhaustion.
Yeah. There’s, there just seems to be an element to this where they, they don’t know where else to go with all of this stuff and seem caught both inside their own previous thinking and also stuck in. Very weekly conceived ideas and it, and it gets to moments like this where I feel like they squandered a opportunity to, okay, you wanna leap off into something new, you wanna leap off into something engaging?
Don’t approach it as, we don’t know who in the room said Nazis? I mean like, yeah, that as a season ending conclusion, I’m just dumbfounded by that. So to our viewers and our listeners, I encourage you to weigh into the comments and let us know what do you think the culminating scene could have been that might have taken this into a better direction than alien Nazis?
I’m encouraging you to weigh in whether you’ve got a serious idea that you think would’ve been engaging, or whether you’ve got, like I said, panned down to show a pregnant. Even if you wanna go wacky, I encourage you to go wacky. Hey, they did it and it made it on the air. So let us know in the comments.
You can jump into the comments directly below this video on YouTube, or you can find the contact information in the podcast descriptions, and of course, you find those podcast descriptions. Wherever it was you found this podcast. That’d be Apple, Google, Spotify, wherever it is, you listen. Next time we are gonna be talking.
We’ve already talked about what we’re gonna be talking about. It’s gonna be episode one of season four, ta-da, final season of Enterprise, and that is going to be storm front, which will be the conclusion, thank goodness of Nazi aliens. Before we get into that, Matt, is there anything you’d like to remind our listeners and viewers about?
stay tuned to undecided with Matt Ferrell. Got some interesting topics coming up around lu ion batteries, which could de thrown lithium as the future of energy storage. There’s a lot of interesting topics coming up, so be sure to check it
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