Matt and Sean talk about Augments designs to kill… everything, and make babies. This story arc is diving deep into the Star Trek lore. Good storytelling or just fan service?
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Right now we are in season four of Enterprise. That’s right. Still early. But when we’re making our way, and it won’t be too long before we’re reaching the original series and Next Generation and all those other great shows. That’s right. 20 53, 20 63 and 2073. Those are some things to look forward to.
That’s great. And who are we? Well, I’m Sean Ferrell. I’m a writer. I write some sci-fi. I write some stuff for kids. And with me is my brother Matt. He’s the guru and inquisitor behind the YouTube channel, undecided with Matt Ferrell, which takes a look at emerging tech and its impact on our lives. So between the two of us, we have the storytelling side, we have the tech side, which means we have star Trek.
Matt, how you doing? I’m doing good. How about you? I’m doing all right. I’m temporarily in a different location. People who listen to the podcast will not know what I’m talking about because they’re just used to the sound of our voices. They don’t know backgrounds and stuff like that. But here I am in a different room than I normally record in with my camera at a different location and angle, so people on YouTube.
Good luck enjoying my beard and my nostril hair. Yeah, that’s right. Not a good look. No, don’t get older folks. Just don’t get older. . So, Matt, before we get into this newest episode that we’re gonna talk about today, which as I mentioned before is Cold Station 12, do you have some viewer and listener feedback from previous episodes to share with us?
I do. Regular listener and Commenter PaleGhost69. He dropped a bunch of interesting comments and one of them made me laugh, Next episode is Borderlands. I don’t remember. Enterprise going to Pandora. Mm-hmm. Yes. The other one was, I just accepted Brett Spinner being cast as Soong to mean Soong jeans are really dominant.
Maybe there was a Soong geneticist in the 21st century that locked in his features onto a designed child, so he would effectively be cloned with every other generat. I’m . I’m aware. I’m just trying to justify the laziness with my own head cannon, but it makes sense considering the Soong Lineage and Sean, about the augments clothing and educat.
You and I were discussing how silly it was that they were all just walking around and trying to te close. Yes. You did realize that they were a bunch of preschoolers who had to race themselves on a desolate planet with little to sustain themselves or work with after Soong was arrested. Right? They were effectively really strong cavemen , who lived out a broken on a broken ship on a hostile planet.
Your expectations would make sense if they were cared for and trained the whole time. But this was more Lord of the Flies than stand and. Wouldn’t it make more sense that the Space station was created long after the war? Eugenics war was 1996. Enterprise is 2151. Also, wasn’t it a CDC space station with more dangerous stuff than augment embryos.
We have several diseases almost eradicated, except for like two CDC labs where they kept for research. It makes sense that they would keep the augments to use for future. He was singling you out, but I was also saying the same thing you were. Yeah. So I would say that should be directed to the two of us.
Mm-hmm. , I thought his explanation, I think does make sense, but I still don’t completely agree with it because they’re so well versed and read and educated. It’s like, yeah, for a Lord of the Fly situation, they’re pretty sophisticated for alert the flies. So there’s this, it’s. The, it doesn’t sync up to have them that well versed, but yet so poorly clothed.
Yeah. Yeah. The two don’t, the two don’t jive from themselves. Yeah. I, I
agree with you and, and pale goes, thank you for the feedback. You always give very thoughtful feedback. Yeah. And I’m, and I, a hundred percent, yeah. It’s, it’s difference of opinion is absolutely fine. And this case, my opinion continues to be, I don’t know why, if you.
Preschooler and then you’re getting older and older and older and your clothes are literally falling off of you. Why? You wouldn’t just say, why am I wearing this shirt? Yeah. . Yeah. It, even if they were just all bare chested, it would make more sense. Yeah. Than, than what were presented. And to take it to the next step after they’re introduced and they get a hold of a Klingon, bird of prey, they never bother changing their clothes.
And yeah, as we will talk about in one of the next two episodes, They show multiple times the characters. Mm-hmm. in different clothing because they show them lying in bed wearing effectively what looked like, maybe these are their, their night clothes. Yeah. What, what they have different Yeah. outfits and all of them are falling apart.
Like, yo, it’s time for bed. Time to put on my ripped pajamas instead of my ripped day shirt. It just, yeah, it’s, it’s costuming. It’s costuming for, and it’s costuming. Here’s the problem. When you have costuming, that looks like a costume. That’s the, that’s the thing that we’re calling. So, yeah. Thank you for the feedback though.
the, the last, the last comment I wanted to call out is from Dan Sims and God bless you, Dan. I just gotta say, he’s, he, he joined, he started watching the podcast and has gone through the entire series. It looks like our podcast in about a couple of weeks. Wow. He’s, he’s been dropping comments on episode after episode after episode, and on episode 13, sleeping Dogs.
He wrote, I really like how you go over what was going on in the world at the. Wish you did even more of it. At the time, I was a teen, so I didn’t really care about what was going on in the world at the time. But now in my mid thirties, I find it fascinating. Yeah.
Thank you Dan. It’s the whole point of the show.
Yeah. Thank you Dan, to try to, yeah, we’re putting, we’re definitely trying to do that and here in the next couple of episodes we’re gonna see a lot of focus on, on conflicts that we’re going on at the time during the, the series. And I think that what was going on at the time was inform. Um, mm-hmm. the context of the show, and we’ll talk about that in more detail as we go into this episode.
And speaking of this episode, that noise in the background, that of course is the read alert. That means it’s time for Matt to try and tackle the Wikipedia description Matt have at
it. All right. The series follows the Adventures of the First Star Fleet, Starship Enterprise Registration, NX oh one. I should probably just read that and record it, and we could just have it.
Dubbed over and I can put like a piece of paper in front of my mouth as it like, yes, I
think you should have it tattooed under your forehead. And then just take off a hat at the beginning, , and then put the hat back on.
Yeah. In this episode, after leaving Enterprise stranded, Dr. Eric Soong, and his augments travel to Cold Station 12, a secretive pathogen in biomedical facility run by Star Fleet Medical and the Debu, where much of this episode’s plot unfolds.
Once inside, they began torturing the scientists with the goal of retrieving some 1800 augmented embryos, allowing them to expand their race.
That wasn’t actually too bad. Not so bad. I think that as we move forward, I think that one of the things that we struggled with at the beginning of this podcast is the earlier episodes of Enterprise, I don’t think have quite the same fandom as later star Trek stories.
So I think that there’s fewer people weighing in on Wikipedia to give a description, and as we’re moving forward to the more popular episodes, more people have gone back and actually revised and edited and refined the comments. Wikipedia, I think is getting better as a result of that. As Matt mentioned, this is season four, episode five, directed by Mike Vijo, who we’ve seen before, written by Alan Brenner.
This. Episode includes guest appearances. By of course, Brent Spinner playing Dr. Eung. If you got a song, you got a spinner. That’s the star Trek motto at this point. Alec Newman playing Maek, Abby Bremmel playing Perus Richard Rail. Dr. Jeremy Lucas. This is the first time we’re seeing Dr. Lucas. Dr. Lucas is of course, the pen pal that we’ve seen.
Multiple episodes as Dr Phlox has been in correspondence with him and they’ve used that as a device very successfully in previous episodes. Yeah. Of him corresponding with Dr. Lucas. Now we get to see Dr. Lu, Dr. Lucas portrayed by Richard Rail, who was of course in multiple star Trek series. He was in Voyager, he was also in Star Trek Next Generation as Bati in the episode Inner Light, one of the best episodes I think that was ever created.
It’s, he’s just one of those that guys, you know, he’s, yeah, he shows up and you’re like, oh him. Yeah. It’s nice to see him. Yeah, that guy. And there was a description, I think a very funny description in his I M D B page, which described him as given his shape. and his thick mustache. He was often used to portray nefarious businessmen, and I really loved the sort of
Wow. Talk about a, a character type. Yeah. Also, in this episode, cash, Eric Erickson as s mike. The original air date for this episode was number fifth, November 5th, 2004. And Matt, I know what you’re wonder. What was I dancing to at the time of this episode broadcast? Matt famously in our household when we were growing up, would dance nonstop while watching television.
It was sometimes distracting, but it when he found the core, Of the message he was trying to convey through his dance. He really, really captured the moment. And Matt, you’ll remember this was, she Will Be loved yet again by Maroon five. Still the number one song, it took a dip for a moment with, I think it was Aval Levine taking place, taking its place for one week and now it’s back.
And at the movies, it was still the grudge for the second week, adding another roughly 21 million to its coffers and on television on November 5th, 2004. What was Enterprise up against? It was still up against the Friday night lineup. Eight Simple Rules. Complete Savages on abc, June of Arcadia on cbs.
Totally outrageous behavior and world’s craziest videos continue to. Enterprise’s viewership and Dateline NBC was broadcasting a story titled Weighing the Risks. The Risks of What? No idea. Who knows whos No Idea. , U P N, of course was broadcasting Star, Trek Enterprise. And on the WB, what I like about you and Grounded for Life, both following in Enterprise’s Week.
So Enterprise had stepped away from the last place slot, but that doesn’t mean its numbers were up. It was still roughly 3.4 million view. It’s just holding its audience. It brought it to Friday night, but it’s not gaining anything. Yep. And in the news, what was going on? Well, as I mentioned earlier, the entire focus of this C trio of episodes around the augments has been the augments are doing things that are going to destabilize the region.
They are going in and they are attacking, they attacked a Klingon bird of prey taking it, and the clingons in response to this. Have decided that, well, since humans did this, we will counterattack against humans and we’ll destroy earth. So war is in the offing and it is this destabilizing insurgency effectively, that is the focus of these episodes around the augments and what was going on in the world at large.
Well, in the Israeli Palestinian conflict, two Palestinian children were killed by an explosion in the refugee camp of Ka Giannis In the Gaza Strip, hospital officials said at the time that it was from a tank shell that hit a house. Israeli spokesman said there had been no army fire in the area. They believe it was either caused by a Palestinian mortar mis fired.
Or by the detonation of a roadside bomb. This was posted in routers on the day of this broadcast, the Middle East as a region, Palestine, Israel, Iraq. All of this kind of insurgent fighting was constantly in the news, and I think that we’re seeing it used in this way, a small cohort of individuals deciding that they were going to rise.
And find a place for themselves. And the debate within the group of augments being Soong saying, let’s go hide. And the augments saying, no, no, we’ve hidden long enough. We deserve a place. In fact, we will sacrifice all of humanity in order to find our place. Is the debate going on within the episode? So Matt and I talked last week about the episode’s, feeling a little bit Friday night.
And being more about the action. I still think that’s largely the case. That is the surface of what’s going on in the episodes. But if you start to scratch the surface, I think these last two episodes, I don’t think the first episode is the strongest of the three. I think these next two do a much better job with these characters and really drawing out.
For the viewer, what was going on in the world, the idea that individuals who felt they had been mistreated for their entire life were rising up and willing to kill whomever it was in front of them, regardless of responsibility or regardless of active involvement in their plate. Is what we’re seeing in the news constantly in the Palestinian Israeli conflict.
We’re seeing it in Iraq. Another headline from the time was Fallujah was starting to become a hot point, and we’re gonna see that again next week. And of course, we are also at this point, just days away from the US presidential election, between Presidents Bush and Senator Kerry. No spoilers, Matt. I don’t know who won, so we’ll save that for next week,
Okay, so into the episode we go, we find ourselves right on the heels of the previous episode where we have the augments and Dr. Sing planning an attack on a storage facility so that they can get a hold. , 1800 of their brothers and sisters. The family argument is constantly pushed in this, that these are, they view one another as siblings.
They refer to each other as siblings. It becomes complicated in the fact that they’re also coupling up. There’s a whole, you know, debate around Soong being father to these, to these augments while not having any biological. Relationship to them and his relationship to them as a parental figure ended when he was arrested, when they were still children.
So it is a strange family dynamic no matter how you slice it. But they are on their way to finding Cold Station 12 where they want to get a hold of the other members of their family. Meanwhile, the enterprise is trying to figure out what they’re up to. They’re kind of like zooming in circles around this sector of space, not quite sure where they might have ended up, and they end up on the planet that the children had originally raised themselves on.
And while there, they find something surprising they find. Sibling that was left behind, and this is Mike. He goes by the nickname he was given, which was a reference to a character from Nicholas Nickleby by Charles Dickens. It is a reference to a character with a physical deformity, and he’s been left behind because he doesn’t share the augments traits that allow them to be superior.
He only enjoys superior hearing, which. Is demonstrated. Partway through the episode when he’s able to, to notify the crew of the enterprise that people are sneaking up on them. But mm-hmm. , up until that point, he seems just to be just like everybody else on the enterprise. A normal human. A normal schlub. A normal schlub just like the rest of us.
Yeah. What did you think, Matt, about the, the sequence of finding the facility where the children had raised themselves, and the introduction of Mike? How did that strike you as far as the storytelling?
My answer’s complicated. Mm-hmm. , uh, I kind of liked it because it was introducing more of the, the kind of like a, giving you a better sense as to like what the augments are, like, how they prioritize things.
Making it extra clear that they find themselves superior and are willing to just kind of shed anybody that, even family that doesn’t quite fit that mold, which does help to accentuate the danger that, uh, Soong is gonna be in himself because he’s not gonna match up either. So it, I thought it did a decent job kind of trying to lay that groundwork, but there was an element.
That storyline and some other elements that we talked about last time. How you talked about how like the female lead character is just there as a, a sex toy. Yeah. Essentially there’s an element of the writing of all three of these episodes, and that seems like the, the writers were trying to be very Shakespearean, very dive to literature.
This whole s SME or whatever. It’s smi. Yeah. That s mike. , it strikes me as they were trying too hard and not executing on that idea very well. , the, it, it’s like Lady Macbeth, you know what I mean? Like somebody that’s behind the scenes trying to pull the strings. But in the show it just comes across as she’s a sex toy.
Yeah. And it’s like, but she’s, they’re trying to make her something more, somebody behind the scenes kind of conniving. Yeah. But she doesn’t, and it’s like they’re trying to do this Shakespearean kind of melodrama, but to me it was kind of just falling flat. Mm-hmm. . So I liked the effort. , I did, but I wasn’t in love with the result.
Um, yeah, I think that for me, I agree with what you’re, what you’re saying, and for me, one of the things that stood out was I felt like the writing of these three episodes got stronger as we moved through the episodes.
is something I’m gonna bring up on episodes. Yeah. And I think that what we’re seeing is a case of first draft it where too much of a first version was allowed to stay, even though the writing became more refin.
As they moved forward and didn’t go back and revisit the earlier stuff they may have run out of time, they were trying to write effectively a long movie. Three episode arc is going to be a lot of work. So I have a feeling that a lot of effort went into, uh, an overriding, overriding story arc. The big.
Umbrella of the three episodes may have taken a lot of time and effort to get all those pieces lined up. And then as they were writing these things, by the time they got to the third one, that’s when they found their voice for specific characters. They managed to use the female augment better in the third episode.
Mm-hmm. , they managed to have lines of historical references from the augments. That are more on point and make more sense in the third episode, but we’re gonna get to that next week. Where we are right now is in a middle, a middle point where, like you said, I have mixed feelings because I can see what they’re trying to do last week.
Mm-hmm. , I don’t feel like I saw what they were trying to do last week. I felt like I was like, these are all kind of two dimensional cardboard cut. . And in this one I’m like, oh, okay. So they’re trying to do a thing with Mike demonstrating. Mm-hmm. . If you think chronologically, Mike would’ve been the first augment that they would’ve shedded and they were willing to shed but not kill that person who no longer served a purpose.
The next one is their previous leader that Malik has kill. . And then beyond that, it then becomes the father figure who’s a threat. And you see the progression of, oh, it’s just not useful, therefore it’s shed, oh, it’s not useful, therefore it’s killed. Oh, we judge it as less than, therefore it’s a threat and it will be killed.
We see that growing danger. My problem is the way that they use Mike in this one. Still feels rather two-dimensional and it feels like a character introduced only so they can be sacrificed. Yes. I didn’t feel like Mike was given an opportunity in the story to actually be anything worth caring about.
tried. No, he, he was there for, he was there as a prop. He
was there as a prop and I felt like they thought it would be meaningful. There’s a scene which I found really distaste. where he has shown the pictures of his parentage, Uhhuh, , and I was like, that’s not really in any way, shape or form useful from the enterprise’s perspective or from Mike’s perspective, because these augments were created via donation.
These were not, . This was not like, oh, here are your real parents. Like first of all, presenting it as real parents. They’re taking a stance which is kind of offensive to blended families and you know, like adoption and like all of that. Like this show is inadvertently saying if you aren’t with your biological parents, you’re not with your real parents.
Like for Mike, Dr. Soong is his father. that should not be debated. He doesn’t know a different parental figure. So it’s ridiculous to say, here’s a picture of a guy who died 150 years ago. He’s your real dad. And then for him to have the emotional response he did to those photos and be like, begin to dig through who his parents were, those aren’t his parents.
He wasn’t raised by those people, their biological back. Would be more useful to him than any biographical inform that’s information. So I found it really kind of, why are you wasting your time on this scene instead of showing Mike doing anything else? If they had shown Mike having some kind of interest of his own.
Some kind of pursuit that he had done on his own that tied into the larger story. Maybe he’s been researching their own biology. Maybe he was researching why his system didn’t have the augmented benefits. Maybe he cracks through something and says, I think I understand something about the augments that maybe was missed earlier.
So it’s, it’s like there’s, there’s, there was potential ways in the character, but it didn’t get explored in any. Yeah. This ties into one
of my biggest complaints about all three episodes, and it’s a comment I wrote. I was halfway through the episode when I wrote this. I wrote, why do augments have to be, have a lack of empathy?
Like, what? What is it? Yeah. These characters seem to have zero empathy. . And as it goes on, it seems they have zero empathy even with Amongst themselves. Yeah. And it’s like, is that a genetic flaw or was, or is it just Malik? Is it like, because some of the other characters, the other augments, when Malach does some of the stuff, they look at him like horrified.
Yeah. At times. Yeah. And it’s like, so is it just him or is it all of ’em? And it wasn’t clear. What they were trying to say about these augments until episode three, which we’ll talk about. Yeah. Yeah. Because they actually do kind
of answer that later. They do. They do reach for it in episode, but
it Episode three.
Yeah. Why didn’t they answer that in this episode? Yeah, because Mike could have been the. He is that bridge. It’s like he’s an augment. Yeah. He doesn’t have all the benefits, but he still has that empathy. He still has that tie back to humanity. Yeah. And so he has that emotion and that feeling and that connection.
And he could have been that bridge that they could have used to explain. , like it’s not a defect. Yeah. It’s like he actually is more connected than they are. Yeah. And they’re the defects. Yeah. And it’s like they could have set that up as a, a plot point, which would’ve given more weight to episode three and more weight to this and more weight to what happens to him.
Yeah. The end of this episode. But they, they completely missed an opportunity
there. Yeah. I think that, I think you’re, I think that you and I are, are. In parallel thinking, but on different paths. Because if you combined with the two of us are saying, what if you had him as an augment and his augmented strength is actually his empathy?
Mm-hmm. his emotional connection to the people around him. What if he demonstrated kind of an anti Vulcan ability to read the moment and quickly break through relationships and understand if he walked under the bridge and in moments. Laid out a, oh, your chain of command is this and you’re, and you’re looking at one another in this way because of these relationships.
If he had been the one who, upon first meeting of Tripp and DePaul had said, were the two of you, a couple. , like it could have like moments like that could have been like, oh, this was the potential of augmentation. This is a emotionally centered and connected individual. And if on top of that, he was also doing things in the background that were like, I’ve been trying to figure out what it is about my brothers and sisters that keep them from being able to connect with.
and he was giving, yeah. Yeah. If he was giving them those,
could be trying to figure out like he needs to take the best of smag or smg, smg and combine it with the best of the other ones because it’s like they have the enhanced strength, enhanced health, all that kind of stuff. And combine it with this empathy.
You could theoretically have the perfect human. Yeah. So it’s like, I think they missed the boat there. Yeah. Yeah. Um, and it’s a shame. Yeah. But like I said, it’s like I. This episode I liked a lot better than the first one. The first one felt like you’re watching a pilot of a new series where they’re just trying to lay the groundwork and then this one started to have a little more of the payoff, and so I started to get a little more into it.
So overall, I like this one better. Yeah. There were also some good Brent Spinner chewing that scene. Reman. Yeah, he was, man, he was not on that stuff like , like Billy’s business. But there was a couple good lines he had. One of the ones I liked the most was, I think it was they were on the, um, The space station and somebody said, son of a bitch to him.
Mm-hmm. . And he said, actually my mother was a chemist. Yeah. And I thought that was like, it was just these like little quick one-liners mm-hmm. that he would deliver every once in a while where it just paid his chewing, the scenery paid off. In those moments, it was like, oh, okay, there we go. He’s just having fun.
Yeah. He’s just, you know, it was, it was a lot
of fun. Yeah. They get into the, the. The actiony part of this episode pretty quickly as well where they Yeah, they’re quickly pursuing, uh, the augments are pursuing their designs on getting a hold of the embryos from the cold station 12. They get their, via subterfuge using a whole, uh, faked uh, distress signal.
This was another element for the, for the episode that I was like, okay, this, they’re really kind of n playing with an illogic just to keep the plot moving. But I understand why, like, it doesn’t make any sense that these augments would’ve escaped and Star Fleet would know where all the augmented embryos were.
and there wouldn’t have been any other kind of security procedures in place. There was no extra ship. Like the, the station is literally, well, there was
no, there was, there was that whole thing about the code black. It was like they were ba they basically made this whole thing of like there was new security protocols put in place to prevent somebody from stealing the embryos.
Like yeah, he had done, before there,
there were security protocols, code black, which sounds like it means so. , but what did it mean? There were no extra security personnel in the cold station? There were no extra ships around this asteroid. It is literally an asteroid in space by itself. There was, and the woman who’s fly, the nebulin, who’s flying that ship is immediately tricked.
there was zero. Like, hmm. I’ve been warned not to pay attention to unknown ships. I’ve been warned away from like, there’s none of that. It’s like she’s just like, boop, boop, boop, flying through space. They say, Hey, we need some help. She’s like, I’m on my way, and immediately gets captured. It’s like all of these things have to happen.
The biggest one for me is through all these episodes, the Klingons Act as if they don’t know their own ship has been stole. Yes. Even though the stealing of the ship is the prime mover behind them wanting to attack Earth, so throughout the entire three episode arc, anytime the Klingons show up or talked about it is as if they are doing zero to find their own ship.
It doesn’t make any sense from that perspective, and especially will come up in the next episode when we’re talking about the, the whole Klingon side of it. in this, I understood like, okay, you gotta get ’em on the space station, you gotta get ’em to the embryos. You gotta do all these things. And they have what is, I think intended to be a kind of moving moment where Dr.
Sing is reminiscing about. Like, oh, I remember when I selected you guys and you were over there, and you were over there and it just. Like, strikes me as like kind of distracting that it’s so obviously a green screen. I
you gotta forgive ’em for that, Sean. Yeah. The, the timeline where this is made, it’s like, okay,
I, I understand the timeline where it was made, but it was, I don’t know, just having them fully on a green screen instead of using a, a green instead of using a CG image. that they’ve done in previous episodes of you see two little figures standing on a platform looking at a larger space, and then they showed the zoomed in two people.
This was CGI put in behind them. That looked literally just like a wall. It was like unnecessarily cgd. It just struck me as strange. It was very distracting to me. Like, why weren’t they just filmed in front of a wall and. Ucg to show the larger room, but that’s not what was done. Anyway. That’s very, very nitpicky.
I understand that. So aboard the space station. They begin to turn into torturers in order to get their their wishes, they want to get ahold of the embryos. What did you think about the whole torture arc of taking the doctors who were on the station, including Dr. Lucas, who this was an effective use of a name dropped in previous episodes because regardless of the fact we haven’t seen Dr.
Lucas ever before. As Soong as we know this is the Dr. Lucas, we’re like, oh, he better. This
is the section I really liked at this episode. Cause I thought it was executed very well and using Lucas was a genius idea. Whoever came, whoever in the writer’s room was like, Hey, why don’t we have Dr. Lucas in here?
Cuz it’ll, you know, there’s the already backstory, already a connection. Yeah. I mean that’s like storytelling 1 0 1. It’s like what you learn about characters and how you start to identify with characters is not, is not only what they do, but what others say about them. And so they’ve spent seasons. Flocks talking about Lucas.
So we’ve already started to create a mental picture of this man and this tight relationship between the two of them. So there’s a shorthand there that you can take. It’s like, oh, these two guys are buddies. They’re very close. We already know that. And that was just a genius move of doing that so that when flock shows up, you have the augments recognize there’s an emotional connection here.
I’m gonna leverage that. Yeah. To make these guys talk. I thought that was a very clever use cuz they had one of the scientists basically get kill.
And it wasn’t enough and they still Yeah, and it
wasn’t enough. It wasn’t enough. Yeah. But then here comes flocks and there’s an immediate recognition and it’s like, oh, I can use this emotional tie against them and then it actually works.
Yeah. It’s like, I thought that was very effective storytelling and a, a nice way as fans to finally meet a character we’ve heard so much about. So it’s like there’s a, it was a win-win for me overall, this whole sequence. And it also showed, it also helped to start to establish. How the augments view life versus what Zoom’s goals are.
Yeah. And you can, it’s where the divergence, you can start to see that tearing happen between them.
Some very nice direction in this scene. Yeah. Where the direction is the doctor that is put into a cont uh, containment chamber and exposed to pathogens, which have a, for television especially. eight o’clock on a Friday night tv.
If you think about the audience that they’re arguably going for a younger audience, the the, I’m at home on a Friday night audience at an eight o’clock showing the torturous death of that doctor, the blisters that form on him, the way he’s coughing up blood. It’s rather brutal, and he is screaming for. He is screaming, please don’t do this and please help me, and then ends up dying in the chamber.
Despite the fact that at the very last moment Sung manages to force the augment Malik to release the antigen. It’s too late. The man is dead, and everybody in the room who’s an augment is staring emotionless at the dead body. Mm-hmm. . It’s very, very good direction. , everybody else in the room is turning away, is horrified.
They can’t, they can’t fathom what’s just happened. Hands over mouths hugging one another, gasping in terror that they might be next, and the augments have zero response. It is like they’re, not only does it look like they’re looking at a dead fish, it, it looks like they’re looking at a dead fish. That has been long.
like they’ve just walked in and there happens to be a fish market and there’s nothing like, they’re just considering that this is now a thing, not a person, and it is effective direction. There are no words from the augments at this point. It is simply them showing they do not see themselves as connected in any way to the humanity of these individuals that are in this station.
So all of these people are clearly in danger.
The, the other thing I wanted to bring up is that there was, we, we, I commented last time how it was fun to see Soong make that comment about flock, that he has a reputation that rivals my own. So it showed that Soong had reverence. And respect. Mm-hmm. for flocks.
He knew of him. So it also just that one drop, which I thought was a neat moment, I forgot how much Soong he himself reacts to, to flocks, getting put in that chamber. Mm-hmm. , he was, he was, you could tell that Soong did not want that first scientist to get killed. And he was very upset by it. But as Soong as flocks got put in the second.
Zoom was dialed up to like 11 of like, I, I have to stop this. This is, no, this is, yeah, we, I, you can’t kill him. It was because it seemed like Zoom was having that emotional reaction because he knew this man and respected his work and didn’t wanna see him get killed. So I thought that was an a clever. Tie.
I don’t know if it was deliberate, but for me it, I found that connection and I was like, okay, that makes sense why Zoom would suddenly get amped up. Cuz flock is now in there. It’s somebody that he knows of. Yes. Or this other man was just a human, he didn’t want him to die, but this is somebody that he knows of.
Yeah. And so I thought that was a nice touch as well. Yeah. It’s a, it’s
a writerly touch of, of dialing up the relationships to dial up the tension. And creating a chain of you witness a stranger die at a distance through an explosion off the horizon. And then the next one is somebody that you see physically die on the street, and then the next one is in the room.
It’s, it’s bringing these things closer and closer and by showing that, Of relationship and response in one character. It becomes then a really strong contrast for the non-acting people in the room, which are Yep, the augments. So you’re really seeing where the danger is, and then eventually this sequence in this scene, and ultimately the episode.
Reach their pinnacle in the confrontation between Malik and it’s not really Malik and Archer, even though that’s the punch him out fight that takes place. At this point, you could practically hear somebody in the writer’s room saying, and then they fight like Con and Kirk. It’s, yeah, . It’s very much, it’s lifted right out of that.
That playbook of the augments has clearly got better prowess when it comes to this kind of physical confrontation, and he’s going to win this fight, but the human captain is in there and he’s giving it his best and he’s trying so hard to do it physically. That looks like what’s supposed to be paid attention to.
I think emotionally what’s supposed to be taking place is when Malik kills. Yes, but as we talked about before, they didn’t do enough with Mike to build him up and if they had done something similar to what we described earlier, if he had been more of an emotional core demonstrated through, look, I’ve been trying to figure out how to build bridges between us and humanity.
Then, especially when they first finds Mike. His entire thing is like, I’m afraid of you. If he had been the one. reaching out and connecting and make the humans really say like, oh, we really can’t trust this guy. Then his death at the hands of his brother would’ve meant more as it is the moment he dies, you can, it’s almost like.
Said, yeah. It’s, it’s, there’s a collective shrug, and it’s like, you said it earlier in our conversation, he’s a prop. The moment he was shot, I felt like, oh, the Voss fell off the table and shattered. Like that’s all it was. It was the death of a prop. And you know why it’s supposed to happen that way, you know why they did that, but it’s a little disappointing a little bit.
Air being let out of a balloon. Not necessarily a huge black mark against the episode, but I just felt like, okay, so Mike died there.
There should have been a conversation between the two of them, uh, Malach and, and, and Mike because it’s like he could have basically been saying to him, , I love you. Yeah. But what you’re doing is wrong.
Right. And then him saying, I know. Yeah. And just kill him. Yeah. It’s like there would’ve been a little bit more of a tension there if there had been some kind of back and forth between the two of them. Instead it was just like him crumpled on the floor. Yeah. Than him getting shot. It was just like, oh, okay.
even if you were gonna stay with Yeah. The plot point that I did not like, even if you were gonna stay with Mike, having been shown pictures of his biological parentage, Like, okay, if you’re gonna, I, I would argue, get that out of the episode. It’s not necessary. But if you are gonna use that, then in that final scene with Malik, he could have said, look, I’ve been looking at all of our genetic backgrounds.
We are human, whether we’re augments or not, we’re human. And he could have started laying out some of the biological history of the other augments, including Malik. that could’ve had, like, look, your, your father was from such and so, and your mother was from such and so, and she was like this or that, and he could’ve been trying to make that emotional argument, but in the end, mm-hmm.
he gets knocked down. And then during the entirety of archer’s fight, Just lays on the floor. . Yeah. It’s, it’s like he’s just waiting like he is gonna shoot me. Like, and then, yeah, he lays there long enough to get killed. And then the augments, it’s like Christmas story, Sean. Yeah.
Randy lay there like a slug.
He lay, there’s
only defense and, and if only he’d been wearing an oversized, uh, put his arms out to, with his arms out to the side. But ultimately, at this moment of the, of the episode, it is the augment setting. Controls within the station to release all the pathogens so that everybody who’s left on the station will die and they have stolen certain canisters of pathogens with the intent of, who knows, maybe we’ll need to use these as biological weapons.
It is a very. Keen use of what was at the time. A real big concern for us here in the United States and worldwide. The idea of biological pathogens was really, in the news. We had had the anthrax attacks at this point, so I really kind of liked the fact that instead of it being, they found a super weapon, the whole Xindi thing of like it’s a gigantic laser that’s going to destroy an entire planet, it’s a death star, effectively going back to literally a microscopic.
that was really mm-hmm. in the minds of the viewership when you say, we’re gonna release biological toxins that are gonna kill people and it’s gonna be terrible illnesses. This was something that was in the news at the time. People were concerned about biological weapons. There were some biological attacks, including one that was in Japan, in the subway system, and then we had the anthrax attacks.
So these were things that people did feel viscerally. having this included as the Oh, yeah. While we’re here, YK will take a couple of these things to go really did seem like, okay, that’s taken the threat up a notch because mm-hmm. in that moment, it’s like, okay, are they gonna change their plan and just head over to Earth?
Are they going to use these somewhere else? What is the, what is the result of this new threat? I thought it was a very effective turn at the end, and then of course, mm-hmm. that. and the threat of the pathogens being released into the station. That’s just a classic serial, like the train is going toward the edge of the cliff and the bridge is out.
So if they don’t stop the train in time, the episode literally ends with Captain Archer running to a ladder, which looks like the longest ladder that’s ever been built. I love the idea that on this space station there is a ladder that long with a, like they built artificial gravity in this asteroid. So that they could have that gigantic ladder.
Like he climbs up this ladder and gets, and he is just like, he’s only got moments to stop this pathogen release. So classic serial release, uh, serial episode end where it’s just like bump bu and off to the next, to the next episode. How did you feel about the whole cliff hangry aspect of this? Yeah.
hitting it nitpicking at some of. Cliches of how they ended it, but I thought it was fine. I thought it was a good, I didn’t feel
like was nitpicking at all. I’m just saying like it’s Yeah, like right out of, you know, like it’s cliffhanger, cliffhanger 1 0 1, this is how you do it
to me. I, I liked it.
I mean, that’s the way almost every Netflix show works nowadays. It’s like they always seem to have. , like a story. They have two story arcs going. One that gets ra starts and ends on that episode. Mm-hmm. , but then one that starts in the middle and is the cliffhanger for the next one. Yeah. That ends in the middle of the next one.
They always seem to do that. Overlap. Th This felt like watching any Netflix show the way it ended it with a cliffhanger. I, I liked it. I, I’ve liked the way they ended it with Mallek being, Very evil. You know, mustache twirling, I’m gonna make you die with all this biological stuff. Yeah. Wonder which one will kill you first.
And then Archer’s comment of, why don’t you stay around and see ? Yeah. I thought that was a great response. Yeah. Some of the
dialogue I thought it was, I thought it was an effective cliffhanger. Yeah. Yeah. I think some of the dialogue is actually better than some of the action. In that aspect. Yeah. Like you pointed out, Brent Spiner’s given a lot of one-liners, Archer is as well, especially in the fight sequence.
Yeah. Which added to the Kirk like aspect Yes. Of the fight sequence. Like, oh, it’s, you know, it’s, he’s got Kirk’s kind of swagger in the moment of just like, I. I’m really like more concerned about what’s going on as opposed to being afraid of you. I’m not scared of you. So yeah, I thought that was effective.
So as we just mentioned, this cliffhanger leads right into the next episode, which is the augments, and so we hope you’ll tune in next week to check out that conversation. I think that as we’ve built through episode one and now two of these three parter and we’re enjoying each one a little bit. Episode three.
Uh, it’s better than these previous two and there’s a lot of of positive stuff to talk about there, so we’ll get to that. Matt, before we sign off, is there anything you wanted to remind our listeners and viewers about? What do you have coming up on your main channel? Yeah, an undecided.
I’ve got, it’s already out by the time this episode comes out about a type of cooling technology that requires no electricity, so it can augment our speaking of augments, it can augment our air conditioning to make it even more effective.
a, it’s very, very cool. Yes, but will it kill us? That’s the concern. It has no empathy, Sean. So yeah, Matt . As for me, you can check out my website, sean Ferrell dot com, or you can just go to your local book seller, your Amazon, Barnes and Noble, your local bookstore, your public library. You can find my books in all of those locations.
I hope you’ll be interested in checking that out. And if you’d like to support the show, please consider reviewing us wherever it was you found this podcast. It’s all the usual places. And don’t forget, you can subscribe. And if you’d like to more directly support us, you can go to Trek in Time dot show, click on the Become a Supporter button and throw some coins at our heads.
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It’s usually an engaging conversation around stuff that is popping up in our usual viewing as opposed to our assigned viewing. Yeah. Of this series. So like
sh I know we’re, I know when the one we’re gonna record Soong is gonna be about, we’re gonna talk about Willow, which.
Guess got what to say. All of that really helps support the show.
Thank you so much for checking out the conversation and we’ll talk to you next time.