78: Borderland – Star Trek Enterprise Season 4, Episode 4




Matt and Sean talk about building bridges between the old and the new Star Trek. Is this storyline well done or just well worn? 

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In today’s episode of Trek in Time, we’re gonna talk about going back to the Well, you know so well That’s right. It’s Enterprise Season four, episode four, borderland. The episode title that every time I read it or have to say it in my head, I hear a Madonna singing borderline . No. Sean, if you close

your

eyes, he’s gonna back hang there for a minute.

Let everybody imagining it right now. Yeah. If

you close your eyes. You can almost hear Borderland . That’s right. Here we are on Trek in Time, where we’re watching every episode of Star Trek in chronological order. We’re also taking a look at what was going on in the world at the time of the original broadcast.

We are currently still in enterprise. We are at episode four of season four, which means we’re just about 20 episodes away from leaving Enterprise Behind and moving on. We’ll talk about that more in a little bit. But first to explain who we are. We are Sean Farrell, that’s me. I’m a writer. I write some sci-fi.

I write some stuff for kids, and with me is my brother Matt. He is the guru behind. Undecided with Matt Ferrell, which takes a look at emerging tech and its impact on our lives. Matt, how you doing? Doing pretty well. Happy New Year. Happy New Year to see everybody.

Yeah. Or not see everybody. .

Yeah. We are here in 2023 and interesting questions emerge when you think about the year 2023.

Where are our Androids? Yeah. Where are our Blade Runners? Yeah. Where are our robot wars? Yeah, I. , these things are overdue. Skynet. I mean by now the Voyager rocket that was gonna become vier in Star Trek. The motion picture that should have launched like 20 years ago. So, I mean, come on, eugenics Wars, they’ve

been lying to us, Sean.

They’ve been

lying to us. It’s like somebody is making this stuff up. It’s really . It’s like somebody sitting in the back at a computer or a typewriter who’s going like, I’m gonna make this up. Speaking of which, go buy my books. Anyway, , before we get into the discussion about today’s episode, Matt, you have some comments from previous episodes to share with us?

I do. I picked some later hundred ones for this start of the new year. Yes. Um, from regular. Commenter PaleGhost 69. I just realized we were like four or five years from the next generation .

Yeah.

Yep. Yeah. Not only did I, they make me laugh. I wanted to call it out because I was just, yesterday, I was watching.

Today’s episode so we could talk about it. And my wife made that joke of like, my God, you’re gonna be doing this for the next 30 years. And I was like, yes, yes we are . And then I said, she was saying, which one’s next? And I was, well think about it. It’s gonna be probably one of the newest shows. Yeah. We’re gonna go from this one to one of the newest ones cuz we have the Christopher Pike, star Trek, yep.

To go Discovery. We have discovery to go through. Yeah. So it’s like suddenly we’re gonna jump to the most recent stuff, which could be kind of fun to kind of like go to that before we go to the original.

It’s to weigh in on that. It’s going to be, it is gonna be, I think, very interesting. A little jarring, but also very interesting to really see fully presented how many years gap there is between these things.

And I, in putting together the notes for this episode, just offhandedly, it occurred to me that the final season of this show, is only 13 years removed from the introduction of discovery. Yeah. And it feels like it’s longer than that. Oh yeah, it does. Oh, oh yeah. And and I’m like, is that because this show is sitting so heavily in the next generation mold that it feels older than it actually is, even though at the time it didn’t feel dated?

Enterprise didn’t. Old, it feels, we’ve talked about this before, it feels a little tired. Like the people making Trek were just like, oh my god, another episode. But it feels like it’s not 13 years. That’s really a major jump forward in what television looks like, so I think it’s gonna be a lot of fun to get there.

It’s, it’s a generational

shift in filmmaking that’s making things feel older than they actually are. Yes. Another comment was from laani, I dunno how to pronounce your username, but mm-hmm. on the episode strategy. Wrote CSI Xindi has a lot to do, that’s for sure. Not made me laugh cuz it was, that was the episode where they were trying to fake the Xindi into thinking that something had happened.

Mm-hmm. . And so like, they were leaving all these, trying to scrub the, the ship clean so they wouldn’t be detected. Mm-hmm. . I just like the fact that there was CSI Xindi, there had been so many csi. Why not Xindi? Why

not a Xindi one? Sure. Yeah.

And the last comment was from Dan Sims and I like this lot cuz he wrote, this was his first comment I saw show up.

He said, I randomly came across this podcast today when looking to see if I missed your undecided episode this week. And it reminded me that I’ve been wanting to watch Enterprise for a long time, but kept forgetting about it. So I’m finally going to binge it along along with this podcast. And then after this, there was like five or six more comments from him, , as he was clearly going

through the episode.

So he is going through them episode by.

So welcome, Dan. Yeah. Um, thank you so much for, uh, coming, coming along and you did not miss an undecided episode cause I didn’t put one out this week, so that’s why ,

there was nothing jokes on you Dan. We got, yeah. Gotcha. Yeah. Thank you Dan. And thank you to all the listeners and thank you.

It’s been a lot of fun putting together this show. We’ve been doing it now for more than a year. Mm-hmm. , and it doesn’t, like I just said, it feels. There’s a bigger gap between enterprise and discovery. It does not feel like we’ve been doing this for a year. It has actually felt like time is moving by pretty quickly, and I’m actually surprised to be already at episode four of the fourth season.

So with that being said, that alert you hear on the background is not my smoke alarm. It is actually our read alert, which means time for Matt to read the Wikipedia description for this. All right.

The series follows the adventures of the first starfleet Starship Enterprise Registration NX oh one. In this episode, genetically engineered humans called augments Capture a Klingon vessel, and the enterprise is sent to find them.

They retrieve the augments creator, Dr. Eric Brent Spiner, and Head in Pursuit. After being attacked by a line’s their crew members, the ship is attacked by augments who retrieve their creator. The episode is the first of three episode arc, followed by Cold Station 12 and the

augments. Mm-hmm. . Okay. This is episode number four from season four.

It’s directed by David Livingston. We’ve heard his name on this podcast many, many times. It’s written by Ken Laub. , we have not heard that name before. This is the transition. Mm-hmm. , where we’ve now got Mani Koto showrunner. Berman and Bragga have gone off to do different things. They left Esther season three.

We’ve talked about that in great detail and recent episodes. They left kind of a turd burger in the form of space. Nazis. Mani Coto came in, had to remedy that, did it in a two-parter, then had the episode where it was the kind of PTs D episode of everybody returning to Earth or to their homes, to Paul.

Went back to Vulcan. Everybody came home. Post the Xindi experience, which, mm-hmm. trying to play with the idea that it was so traumatic, it was a hard year for them. Now, this is the first episode of what Manny thought the show could be, and it was stated explicitly in the episode, the first episode of this season, he saw enterprise as needing to build a bridge between.

Enterprise and what we knew Star Trek would become. So the original series. Mm-hmm. . So here we see the beginning of that. So they go back to the well that we’ve seen before, which is the augments. They, we see, you know, this is, this is the offshoot of khan so we’re seeing them attempting to build that bridge.

The original air date of this episode was October 29th, 2004. And the. The Matt was dancing along too well. He had been dancing along to, she Will Be Loved by Maroon five, and then he got derailed. Avril Levine showed up for one week, but guess what, Matt, you’re back. She will be loved by Maroon Five returns, and he’ll be back again next week.

So I’m for you to look forward to. Matt has a playlist that he likes to keep updated with all the songs for each week, and then he does, he creates dance routines to each one. Yes. The one from Roone five keeps getting longer and longer. Yes, and at the movies, people are going to see the grudge. This is of course, right before Halloween, 2004, so horror movies were on the menu.

The grudge got 39 million. It is the 2004 Supernatural Horror film directed by Takashi Shimazu. and it is basically a lifting of popular J Horror from Japanese theaters and just americanizing it. Mm-hmm. , including production by Sam Ramey. So this was his taking of something that was popular in Japan. It proved to be not as popular here, even though it was the number one film.

It created a bit of confusion. The ring had been very popular, but this was described as being less impactful. Not quite as scary, but it is still available on Stars if anybody wants to check it out. This movie, this movie

freaked me out. . It freaked

me out. And on television, what was Enterprise up against?

Well, again, on ABC, it was up against eight simple rules and complete savages. It was up against CBS’s Joan of Arcadia. It was up against Dateline nbc and on the wb what I like about you and a special for Halloween starring Scooby-Doo. They were the competition on wb, but the one that’s a real head scratcher here we have Star Trek Enterprise having 3.2 million viewers and beating it by a handful of hundreds of thousands on Fox

totally outrageous behavior and the world’s craziest videos. That’s right. YouTube on Phlox was beating Enterprise and in the news. Current events at the time in October of 2004 included the following, a Johns Hopkins University study published in the British Medical Journal. The Lancet estimates that an additional a hundred thousand civilian deaths have occurred since the invasion of Iraq and 2003.

this is the part that caught my eye. The study had a margin of error that was so wildly large that the actual number might have been as low as 8,000 or as high as 194,000. This goes to show the kinds of chaos that emerge in wartime. The events are not easily measured at the same time. Arab Televis. Al Jazeera broadcasted a videotape of Osama Bin Laden.

He was talking once again, taking ownership of the 2001 September 11th attacks, but he was also making a political argument that in the us, which was currently just about a week away from its next presidential election, and he was making the argument, doesn’t matter if it’s Bush, doesn’t matter if it’s Kerry, what’s really important is US policy in the Middle East.

That’s what those attacks were. And in Rome, heads of state and government from the countries of the European Union signed a treaty establishing a constitution for the European Union, and it needed to be ratified by the member nations. It was, and at this point, and this is part of what my research led to me thinking about, well, how many years between enterprise and discovery?

At this point, we were 16 years away from Brexit. Again, it feels like it’s been longer than that. And then this is what made me think, well, how many years between discovery and enterprise then, and it’s only been 13. So onto today’s episode, as Matt mentioned in the summary, this is about the augments and this is about the introduction of Arik.

Soong, this is going to be a three episode arc. Which is very clearly attempting to build a bridge between where enterprise is and what the original series was all about. Mm-hmm. , big picture. Matt, how did you feel about the introduction of this as a plot line?

Um, I’m, I’m torn. would be the best way to put it, because at the end of the day after watching the episode, I enjoyed it.

Mm-hmm. , but it. , like it was lacking some originality cuz it was dipping into the well that we know so well as you put in the beginning of the episode. Mm-hmm. , which was, it was, it’s kind of fun to see Soong in his early years to see Brent Spinner back to see all that kind of stuff. It was kind of fun to see the pre-con con of the augments of what’s going on.

It’s kind of fun to see that, but at the same time, we had all that with Khan. Yeah. Did we have to do this all over again? Yeah. Did we have to? It felt like, it felt like it was a well worn. that was probably best if avoided. So it just felt kind of like an also ran, even though I enjoyed it when it was done.

I

agree. I felt myself conflicted about some of the elements. One of the things that stood out to me is it felt a little bit like this was once again, standing too deeply in well worn paths that have been mm-hmm. done before, not only the original series. , I kept going back to the episode, the hunted from Next Generation, which is when the Enterprise Picard is the lead liaison to meet with the leaders of a planet that is trying to join the Federation.

And while they are there, there is a breakout from a prison and a prisoner escapes and gets a shuttle craft and manages to get. Partially, but is caught by the enterprise. And it turns out that on this planet they had had a war in which super soldiers had been created. And after the war, they found it difficult to transition them back into working in regular society.

So instead of helping them, they put them in prisons, they effectively mm-hmm. in permanently hospitalized and just put them in prisons. These were super soldiers who had the ability to do things that could disrupt electronics. They, they were. Faster. They were super trained in military, uh, tactics. So this individual was able to get out, get aboard a shuttle craft and get away almost before the enterprise was able to capture him, beamed himself aboard the enterprise, was able to stay alive long enough in the enterprise to sabotage systems, almost able to get away again.

That to me was a more compell. Episode along the lines of this than what this has done, and part of my difficulty with it, you mentioned it was nice to see Brent Spine. I am a little exhausted by the use of Brent Spinner to play all the different versions of UNG that we see throughout time. , it gets distracting at a certain point for me.

Put

Yeah. But at the same time, put yourself back to when this was originally aired. He hadn’t, they hadn’t, they hadn’t tread on that too much at that point, in my opinion. It’s like you had the next generation where he was data and then you had old Soong. And then you have hear him as Jung. But at this point in time when we’ve had the Picard series, we’ve had all these other things.

They’ve done this so much. At this point, it feels like, oh, come on, here we go again.

But this isn’t the same song.

I know, but it’s like they’re having, they’re having him play still the the same type of character. So that in my mind, . It’s okay at this point, cuz I remember when it was originally happening, it didn’t bother me, but now when I see him doing that, it bothers the hell outta me.

I remember

when this episode originally aired, I was bothered by it then, but not as much as I am now because now it’s been done so many times. So it’s a, it’s not so much a like, oh, that makes it a terrible episode. I just find it a little distracting, like, yeah. Was this really like, was this. , I have the exact same response to at the beginning of the episode, we see Klingons, which includes the actor who’s played the head of the Klingon people.

During the next generation. He’s playing the captain of a ship. Here, and I didn’t know why they had him doing this again. It’s, I did not. It’s, it feels like it’s, it’s a little too insider. It’s a little too, aren’t we clever? Aren’t we having fun? Let’s bring the old gang back together. And I’m like, that’s, it’s distracting.

It’s, you spend half a second thinking. , is this supposed to be the same character? Yep. Is this supposed to be that guy? Oh, he dies. Okay. It’s not the same guy. When you’re thinking about those, it’s as distracting. And Matt and I have been watching other programs that, um, we tend to talk about these things in Out of Time, which is our spinoff episode, which you are spinoff series, which you get access to if you’re a direct supporter of this podcast.

That’s just a quick pitch anachronistic. Is. Yep. Another thing like that where in a moment of a show, and Matt and I recently were watching a TV series that did this where it’s supposed to be a kind of Lord of the Rings type adventure, and then there’s anachronistic heavy metal music. Added in at certain moments, and it doesn’t add to those moments, it actually distracts you because you spend the first 15 seconds of the song thinking like, what song is this?

Who’s this by? What’s going on here? And then you get yourself back into the moment. , I feel like stunk casting in this way is doing the same thing here and it, and it feels like, okay, it’s Brent Spiner. I get it. Okay. He’s playing the same kind of character. I also feel like Brent Spiner in this in particular seemed to be chewing the scenery a little too much.

It felt a little distracting on that level too. He’s a little too cutesy. He’s a little too full of himself. He’s playing it in a different volume than he has at other times, and I found it a. Strange to see him. Bakula is so reserved. Especially in this episode, there’s literally a sequence where he’s kidnapped and he doesn’t talk.

And I was like, why is he not saying anything ? Uh, so when you have Bakula playing, it’s so internal and so quiet to have spiner kind of filling that space with all of this. Mainly it was the scenes that were aboard the enterprise where I felt like Spiner’s performance was a little too loud when they got into the Orion slave.

He seemed to dial it back. Yes. It seemed like there was enough going on around him that he kind of like fell back into the surrounding environment. So it just felt a little uneven to me. But ultimately, the episode is doing a lot of things that Star Trek has done before. Like we mentioned the hunted, we’ve mentioned Con, of course, it’s.

following that path, and it does a fine job with the kind of like building, knowing this is going to be a three episode arc, building a group of people who are doing their own thing and becoming a new threat. In this way. It does a fine job with it, but it feels a little bit too much, like certain elements weren’t thought through entirely.

Like I couldn’t understand why these. Augmented people are wearing pajamas that look like they’ve been wearing them nonstop for 12 years. . Um,

you can, you can tell Sean, you, you can tell we’re brothers because that was bothering me the entire episode.

I was like, they’ve been living, why are they wearing, why

are they wearing shreds?

Yeah. Why are they wearing shreds? They wouldn’t wear shreds. And the fact that they’re all unified shreds, it looks like it’s a uniform Yeah. Of shreds. Yeah. It’s like, why are they all dressed the same? What they can’t find different shirts. Like they’d raid a ship and they’re like, oh, hey look, here’s some un shredded shirts.

Let me put one of these shirts on. Yeah, no, we have to look unified in our shreds. Yeah. It made no sense . It was,

ah, it’s, it’s, it’s little things like that that, you know, not only that I kept going back to like, okay, they are, they’re augmented, they’ve been able to survive on a planet. By themselves. They can make clothes, but they can’t make clothes like that.

Wouldn’t that be one of the things they would do as they got older? They would, you know, skin animals or they would develop looms and they would make themselves like to have them in some kind of rudimentary homemade costuming would’ve looked more thoughtful than mm-hmm. like, oh, they’ve been wearing their space pajama.

That somehow they started off wearing when they were probably children and that’s why they’re ripping and they’ve got these holes and like, okay, I don’t, I don’t agree with that. I also had a problem with like Soong is raising them with the promise of like, you are the future of humanity. Humanity needs to take a giant leap forward and you are it.

And humanity doesn’t recognize that. and yet they live according to an extremely primitive and violent code that is based entirely on strength, and I found that to be a bit lazy. like I, I appreciate that there’s the nefarious quality, that the leader is being questioned and the leader is being supplanted.

There’s a little coup that takes place. Even the act of stealing the Klingon bird of prey was not sanctioned by their leader. I have no problem with the elements of that is the major plot, but the way they talked to one another and I kept going back. That’s not how Khan operated. I kept going back to that, like Khan’s hold over his people was almost egalitarian.

The threat of violence was there, but it was unspoken and it was with a fascist attitude of I am the stronger, therefore I am the leader. I am. The one you should look to was how. Brought all this about, this looked like a bunch of cave people to me. Like would they, like, would song have been raising them?

Would he have left them hidden them away without access to libraries of information so that they could study so that they could be, wouldn’t it have been more interesting if they had shown up in home spun clothing, but spoken? about things in a way that demonstrated high levels of study and high levels of tactics behind them, as opposed to what is effectively I’m the strongest, therefore I should lead and I will kill the guy who’s in my way.

It felt a little, it felt a little too much of a shortcut to me that they, oh, here come these augmented people, but they’re gonna act like effectively Klingon. I,

I didn’t get that read mainly because it was, the act of violence against each other was actually forbidden. And it was, what happened in the coup was against what Soong had been trying to teach them, which was that they, they made that reference of, brothers don’t kill brothers, you don’t do this.

And so he was kind of breaking out of what they had been taught. So it’s like, I, I, I didn’t take that as. Noticing, but what I think think of it as is it’s just two people that thought I’m the strong, I’m the smartest and strongest of all of us. I, I, I should be the default leader. And it’s two people.

Butting heads. So like it made, it made sense to me. You can only have one alpha male or one alpha person. You can have two. So it felt very natural to me what played out. So it, it didn’t feel disjointed or cave-like or anything like that to me, but it did. But I do agree with you. It felt a little weird that you’re supposed to have these people that are super smart and they’re living.

Thread there. . Yeah. They’re living and they’re living in the way they are. Where you would think that they would be incredibly well versed cuz they would’ve had access to some kind of like data pads or something that would’ve had. Earth’s history. Right. And they could have studied the, the art of war and all this other kind of stuff.

Yeah. And so they, they would be well versed, but it’s, it felt like that part they kinda like, yeah.

Shortchanged. I kept flushing back to the original series when Khan is having the dinner with Kirk and Spock, and Spock keeps asking questions. and Kahn’s response is he’s starting to get heated in his debate with Spock and then he stops and he looks at Kirk and he pulls himself back and he says, you’re quite a commander.

You’re quite a captain. You let your first officer attack while you just study and look for weaknesses. , the nuance of that conversation, the way that it, it, the sophistication of it, it’s all being said over wine, well over wine, you know, like that kind of moment is what felt like it was lacking. And I, even if they’re on a bird of prey, like to have a dinner scene where more, and I would’ve appreciated more of the augments getting a chance to talk.

I think that they were keeping costs. So there’s only a few speaking parts among the augments. I think it would’ve been nice if there had been a few more, and that you could have had a little more of a sophisticated debate around the idea of leadership. It would’ve been interesting to see their leader sitting quietly at the head of the table while the guy who’s trying to supplant him has a debate with somebody else around what leadership is and have that moment.

Speak of the leader thinks he’s still in control, but what did he doesn’t realize is that the guy who’s trying to supplant him is actually winning the debate and turning people to his cause. I think it might have been either really captivating scene to have him winning hearts and minds at the table and have the leader stand up and leave with his, his mall.

I also don’t like the idea that the, the female, the only female. Part of the augments is basically a sex toy. She describes herself as like, I’m just there for one thing, and I’m like, I’m like really? Like the augments don’t even have sophistication in that aspect. Like, but if you have that scene where it’s them sitting around a table having what looks like a sophisticated high level debate, and then the leader leaves and the number two guy is left looking at the table and sees a lot of people, no.

and you realize as if you were, oh, he’s just won a coup, and it’s so quiet that the leader doesn’t even know it happened yet. Like that to me would’ve been really compelling. . Having said all of that,

but Yeah, but I was gonna say the reason that didn’t happen was the show was trying to go down the action path.

Yeah. Which is what it clearly, yeah. We, we talked about their move to Friday nights. Yeah. It got a little more kid-friendly, a little more action packed. A little less cerebral. It’s like that, that’s why they didn’t do that. Yeah, absolutely. So it’s like, I understand why they didn’t, I agree with you. It would’ve been a stronger path to go down that.

Having said all of that, there are some set pieces in this that stand out as really intriguing. There’s the Orion. We haven’t seen the Orion Syn Orion syndicate as a strong entity before in the series. The Orion slave girl, famously, you know, an image of Trek that even people who don’t follow track could identify like, oh, the green skinned woman from Star Trek.

I know who that is. Appeared in the first episode of the original. , but this is the first time that we’re seeing not only, or Orion slave girls again, but we’re seeing what their society, how it’s structured a little bit, and it’s clearly a mercantile, you know, like a mercantile approach, but it’s slave training and it’s, mm-hmm , their power at being able to attack and disable the enterprise, sets them up potentially as an impressive force.

This part of the galaxy and it sets up the idea of, oh, this is something the federations had to deal. Since early days, like so when you get the mm-hmm , you get to the original series, the idea that the Orion syndicate is not just a crime syndicate, but it is actually a force in the galaxy. They go toe to toe with Klingon.

Apparently it’s this section of space, which is described as there are skirmishes in here all the time because the Orion’s push back against the Klingons. So that’s not something that’s easily done. So seeing that. Area, the number of extras, the cages, the setup of the, the chips in the neck, like all of that I found to be very, the auction itself, it had aspects to it that, as Matt just mentioned, they clearly were pushing toward like, well, let’s get more action into the show that works in that scene, especially with the jail break that takes place.

But more than that, it had an aspect to it that made me feel like, okay, this is the Star War. Side of star Trek. It’s a little gritty, a little dirty. The humor, you say the humor of it. Yeah. The humor was really good. Yeah.

Like especially the, the, the, the gigantic auctioneer guy, like, I don’t know who that actor was.

That’s the big show. That’s the big show it He’s a professional wrestler. Yeah.

Yeah. Okay. Cuz I loved the directing of him picking up Jolene Blaylock. Yeah. Who is a tiny little woman. Yeah. And he just picks her up. And then her direction would probably just be, stay stiff as a board, stay stiff as a board, don’t move.

And just like he holds her around. Yeah. It’s, it’s hysterical. It’s so funny. Yeah. It’s, it’s really well done.

Yeah. The, the set piece around all of that I thought was well done. I thought the. Riot that takes place after the breakout. Uh, all the slaves running riot, the Orion’s trying, although to recapture everybody, although

my wife happened to be sitting on the couch watching with me as we were watching, and both of us were laughing.

Horribly at the Ensign. Yes. And his overacting? Yes. And wow. Was he somebody’s nephew or cousin? Like what? Wow. He was, he was, he was bad. Yeah. . He str he struck me as, uh, my wife called out at one point making an alien’s reference. Yeah. They’re gonna come in here, they’re gonna come in here and they’re gonna kill us.

Yeah. Cause like the way he was acting was. He was acting at 11 the entire time. Yeah. It was this dial, dial back a couple

notches, buddy. This, this spastic. I flash back to aliens as well, but aliens was calm and cool in comparison to the way this guy was depicting like, the enterprise is gonna come back.

Right. They’re gonna come back and save us. Right. And like, uh, yeah, dude, just like, and he was squinting up his eyes so much that he actually changed his entire face somehow. I’m not quite sure how. There were, it looked like muscles were flexing where there shouldn’t be muscles , but the other scenes that stood out don’t even make it into the synopsis on Wikipedia.

And those are the relationship developing between Tepa and Trip, which will, I will be revisiting this throughout this season as we talk about the story, because to me, that’s really at the heart. Of the show at this point. Mm-hmm. the relationship between the characters. So they have a couple of nice very brief moments where trip in trying to be casual, but also still feeling hurt and being stung about topa marrying in the previous episode.

He casually, not casually says, so did you go on your honeymoon? And it’s kind of a loaded moment. And then he later does apologize. He says It was none of my business, but she makes sure to clarify for him, after the marriage, I went alone to meditate. And so this is a to Paul who is still trying to figure out like, how does this work?

What is going to happen? And trip as well. So I really like that moment between the two of. And another one that stood out for me very, very strongly was Flox, having his moment with Dr. Sing. And my notes too, sing’s entire thing is like, oh, I’ve, I’m familiar with Dr Phlox, I’m familiar with his work. He’s almost as smart as I am.

And then he gets into the, they get into the Medical Bay, and I love that he identifies which of the augment. DNA they’re looking at. He can look at the DNA coding and he can identify which member of his children he is looking at. But he gets into that debate with Flox about the ethics of augmenting humans, the idea of improving upon a species.

And Flox doesn’t want to hear any of it. He. We’ve removed diseases, we’ve stopped people from dying from ailments, but we haven’t tried to improve people, which is an unethical approach to medicine. And Foxx’s take on all this, the disgust on his face, the, the acting from Billingsley in that is really top notch.

Yeah. The, what I wrote down was Flox Slam. Yeah. Like the way he slams Soong when he says, um, there’s something called learning from your Past Mistakes. Yeah. And Soong says, what makes you think I haven’t? And Flox goes, I can read. Yeah. . And it was just like that, that moment of like Zoom going, oh shit. Yeah.

Like he just totally got owned by Flox. Yeah. And I, I also wanna note that I made a note of the whole thing of like, I, I love it when characters. Characters that we love when we hear other people talk about them. Yeah. And it adds depth to them. Just that a, a side comment that Soong makes when he says, Fox’s reputation rivals my own right.

and he’s walking in the hallway with the captain and says that it’s like, oh shit. It’s like you, you go flocks. Yeah. It’s like, it, it’s, it’s always fun to get like little comments like that from here. Here we know. Soong is this crazy genius that’s done horrible things. And he’s saying this of flocks, it gives it weight of here’s a character we love and he’s actually saying something very complimentary and also a backhanded compliment cuz he’s saying almost rivals my own.

Yeah. Um. Ego.

It’s the arrogance of, it’s the arrogance of all the songs, which, yeah. You know, and they’re all, they’re all comment. So Spinner is just playing the same character again and again and again. He’s just like, it’s like, well, clearly I’m the smartest guy in the room. So, but it’s great cause that one ar arrogance comes through once again, cast the shadow on

himself as well as on flocks.

Yeah.

Yeah. So we see all of that and we see the, the enterprises attacked multiple times by multi. Starships, apparently the sensors aren’t working cuz they don’t know any of these attacks are coming at any point and they are caught off guard each and every time. Uh, lots of very convenient plot moments for that.

There’s also a nice moment between Sung and Reid when he says, of Reid, oh, I’m very familiar with your name. I’ve read about you and your work, but I haven’t seen your face. It’s, it’s another attempt to like twist the knife while giving a compliment, but mm-hmm. In this episode, Reid does an admirable job.

just not ever seeing any visa attacks coming somehow. Um, yeah. So they fly into the dangerous borderland area and then are surprised when they’re attacked by Orion’s, and then they’re surprised when a Klingon vessel comes in to save them and think nothing of it. When it’s relayed that the Klingons have asked to dock, and it’s like, this is not.

They, they waved that away with Bakula says something along the lines of, I knew it was gonna be you. Like, he basically said, I knew, I knew you were gonna come find us. So it’s like he, they could have tipped

that.

Before because it made no sense why he was just so glib and like, all right, let’s talk. Yeah,

okay.

Yeah. It didn’t make any sense. It wasn’t worth that line because ultimately they go out there because the Klingon Empire has said, we are gonna start a war with Earth over this. First of all, I have a bit of an issue with that. I do not think the Klingons would attack Earth because a bunch of unknowns stole a ship.

I don’t. Within Trek, the Trek universe. I don’t think that that would be the pretext for war. Having said all of that, you would think that the enterprise would’ve gone out with enough knowledge to immediately identify, oh, that this is the ship. Like they would know like, oh, mm-hmm , this isn’t just a Klingon bird of prey.

This is the ship we’re looking for. Cuz you would think the Clingons would’ve. , here’s the ship. This is the ship that’s missing. Mm-hmm. . So that whole thing is, is a question mark. All of that is done simply to get Soong on board with the augments. He just needs to get with his kids. And so we end the episode with Soong making his speech to the augments of saying like, you guys are doing it.

You are living up to your promise. And now we need to go to Cold Station 12, which is referred to. At the very beginning of the episode, this is where Sun originally stole and why he was in prison. This is where he stole the augments embryos from. Mm-hmm. . So Sun’s argument is, we’re gonna go back there and we’re gonna free your thousands of brothers and sisters.

So he’s gonna go back, he’s gonna get more, and he’s gonna create a effectively a little army of augments with which to start a new, how did you feel? About those plot points, the augments embryos being held in cold storage, the sings having been jailed for stealing some and now his desire to go back and get ahold of more, to do more of this.

What did you think about all of that? I

thought it was fine, . It was. It’s like, okay. One question would be like, why were they holding onto these

eggs? . That’s where I kept going back. Why would, why would still happen? These embryos are the result of, mm-hmm. , they’re in storage because it was these embryos that led to the eugenics wars.

These hold onto them. These are after product, after Khan. Khan is already taking place. Yeah. So humanity finally pushes back against the augmented humans that were Khan and his cohort. They put them all into a spaceship. They send them off into space, frozen in sleep to go do something else. Because apparently humanity at that point, despite the fact that they had just fought this war in which millions of people had died, did not feel like executing con made sense.

So they send them into space and now they have these embryos and they apparently, Space station. This is a humanity has just come out of war. They built a good use of research station to hold frozen embryos. Yep. I found myself thinking, I’m having a bit of difficulty with the logic of all of these steps.

Like if it had been a forgotten bunker on earth, if it had been like there were a number of different ways to get the same effect, but I just didn’t quite follow like. if he stole, if he knew about an underground bunker in some way, and he managed to steal thousands upon thousands of embryos, get them away.

And that’s what he was arrested for. And nobody knew that he’d created these augments. And now he’s like, and now we’re gonna go back. Where I hid them, I would’ve been like, okay, that makes more sense. But everything is being set up as like Earth has a hold of these things and they’re keeping them alive.

They’re keeping them alive for like more than a hundred years at this point. Like they’re having to work to sustain these embryos, and I can’t. To what end, but

Sean, this is, we’ve already discussed this.

I

just don’t like it. This is the. The Friday night of vacation. Yeah. Star Trek. Yeah. They’re not thinking deep.

This is not cerebral star Trek. This is, let’s just make an action packed couple episodes where people just kind of like tune in and have fun. Yeah. That’s basically what this version of enterprise is right now. And a key point of that to me would be, you know, when, when, uh, they docked the Klingon ship and the augments are on board and the guy is basically like glaring at the captain, basically, like, I’m, I own you.

You just don’t know it yet. Yeah. The rest of his crew storms. The enterprise, when they open that door, the hatch to come storming the enterprise. Why were five or six security officers all. Piled into a tiny airlock. . Just stand there like Yeah. Shoulder to shoulder. It’s like you’d have guys in the hallways, you’d be spread out.

You wouldn’t have your entire security crew. Yeah. In the tiniest kill box. Yeah. That you’ve ever

seen . Well, what they didn’t show is that they were all tied together at the waist. They tie their shoelaces together. They tie their shoelaces together, and they were all shuffling around . Where are we gonna go over here?

That let’s all get in that.

y but that’s the epitome of like where this is at. Yeah. It’s like they’re, they’re just doing things to have plot points that can just move the action forward and they’re not thinking beyond that. Yeah. Because you don’t have to, this is just a late Friday night action filled.

Yeah. People are gonna shoot Reagans and chase each other around. It’s a kin,

that’s all it was meant to be. Yeah. It’s a kin to having red shirts die in the original. It’s like things have to happen. So they happen and it’s like, so here’s a guy who does this thing and, and that’s why he does it. And oh, he stole these embryos and everybody knew it, and they jailed him because he made these children.

And I get it. And I just found myself thinking like, okay, I’m still going along, but wasn’t there a different way of approaching that? Like, it, it always hits me as like, is does this sound like it’s from a first draft or a second draft? And to me, a lot of these elements sounded very first drafted. Um, I agree.

Which, which to me didn’t destroy the episode. It just deflated it a bit. I felt my, I found myself thinking like, well, he could have done a little bit different there, and I might have held together better. But ultimately, to go back to the things that I thought worked, like I mentioned the Orion slave bazaar, the humor that came out of that, the sequence where I really liked Archer activating the handcuffs.

and sing’s hands snap together because of the magnetized handcuffs and then demagnetizing them at a key moment when he is trying to climb and he falls. Yeah, like the simplicity of that was enough to kind of like, oh yeah, this is like, it’s a reminder as Matt has been pointing out. It’s meant to be fun.

It’s meant to be. It’s meant to keep a viewer watching, not make the viewer puzzle out. Ethics and the dilemma of Dr Phlox versus song, or how does a society of eight people alone evolve into what it’s going to be like? Those aren’t the questions they’re asking. They’re asking simple questions of what keeps of viewer watching.

So, Rays it’s riots in a prison. It’s a slave girl who got a her name in the credit somehow, even though she didn’t have a line I didn’t mention before. Among the guest appearances, we have Brent Spinner, of course, as Dr. Ung, we have Alec Newman as Malach Malik’s performance. I found a little strange. I couldn’t help but wonder if he.

Trying too hard to channel a con, like calm to himself, but it just didn’t seem like he had much of a personality. Perus was played by Abby Brek, and I’ve mentioned before, like, I really didn’t like that the only female augment was basically like, yeah, I, I’m just used for sex. Like, like mm-hmm. , like, wouldn’t it have been more interesting if she’d been the number two, like if she was the one leading the coup, if there was anything that they could have done because they end up with a.

Played by Joel West Ra Rakin, who is a non-entity and looks very much like he’s just meant to be like, oh, look how strong he is. Therefore he’s the leader. And I’m like, that’s lazy and not very interesting. But there’s also Dave Power, who was Ensign. Jeffrey Pierce, we’ll never forget him. Big show played the Orion Slaver.

JG Helier played the Klingon captain again, and Bobby Sue Luther was the Orion slave woman. Didn’t have any lines, but she got her name in the credits, so heads off to her. So as we mentioned, this is going to lead into the next episode, which is Cold Station 12. That is of course, the location of all of the other frozen embryos that have been kept for very clear and obvious reasons.

We won’t rehash those now, but forever. Forever. But before we sign off, Matt, is there anything you wanted to let viewers and listeners know about coming up on your other channel? . Yeah. And

keep stay tuned to undecided. Cause I have a couple videos coming up. One on Aero gel, which should be out by the time

this videos out, I hope.

Mm-hmm. , I’m wearing somewhere now on aerogel for .

It’s, it’s a really cool product. It’s like NASA has called it the best insulator ever made. It’s, it’s a really cool technology. And then I, I have one coming up on Fusion, on the laser fusion breakthrough that recently was announced back in December. I have a video coming up talking about that and other, Stay

tuned as for me, if you’re interested in finding out more about my books, you can go to sean Ferrell dot com.

You can find information there. You can also just go directly to wherever you buy your books. That could be anywhere from Amazon or Barnes and Noble, down to your local bookstore or even your public library. You should be able to find all my books there. If you’d like to support the show, please do consider reviewing us on Apple, Google, Spotify, wherever it is.

You’ve been listening to this. Go back there, leave a review. Don’t forget to subscribe, and if you’d like to more directly support. You can go to Trek in Time dot show. Click on the Become a Supporter button. It allows you to throw coins at our heads, which is always fun, but it also immediately makes you an enn, which means you will start getting out of time, which is our spinoff show in which we talk about anything.

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