80: The Augments – Star Trek Enterprise Season 4, Episode 6

Matt and Sean talk about the Soong, Khan, and Kirk of it all. The exciting conclusion to this story arc leans heavily on what we’ve seen before in Star Trek, but it kind of works. 

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Hey everybody. In today’s episode of Trek in Time, we’re gonna be talking about the pros and cons of being an augment . That’s right, enterprise season four, episode six, the augments. Welcome to Trek. in Time. Our regular listeners or viewers will know that what we do here is we watch every episode of Star Trek in chronological order.

We are currently still in enterprise, but we’re nearing the end. We are into a season four, which means we are also talking about the events of 2004 because we take a look at the world at the time, original broadcast. And who are we? Well, I’m Sean Ferrell. I’m a. I’ve written some stuff for kids. I write some stuff for adults that are sci-fi, and with me is my brother Matt.

Matt is 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. Matt, how you doing today? I’m doing well.


about you? I’m doing okay. I’m looking forward to getting into this episode. I of the three parter that this is the third part of, I think that this is the strongest episode.

Yep. Before we get into that though, we like to share some viewer feedback and so Matt, what do you have for us? There’s

a couple comments from POGO 69 from episode 78, borderland, which was the first episode of this three story art he wrote. This is in reference to. This time in history section of the show until this episode, I couldn’t tell if the music jokes was brotherly, ribbing, or inside jokes with some truths to them.

you went too extreme this time and gave the game away, Sean. And if, if he thought you went too far on borderland. The last one Sean took a level That’s right.

Discussing my interpretive dance that I do. Yes. . So

yeah, Sean’s joking around. The other comment he brought up was he said, I enjoyed the grudge cause we talked about the movie The Grudge, which has been the number one movie for two weeks in a row.

He said, I spent months sneaking up behind my brothers softly going. , the sound that that ghost makes in that movie. Yes. I responded to him on the comment saying that, The sound effect. That sound, it still haunts me to this day. That movie was very effective at using sound to terrify you. It was very well done.

The other comment was from Iboss on the same episode of Borderland. He wrote, it might be weird, but the main story of the episode wasn’t the important part for me, although the Orion’s were. Mirror window dressing. It opened up the Trek universe to see more angles. Like you guys say, it was more actioned, adventure side of star Trek.

The difference of airing on Friday, that was not obvious for me at the time it aired, but it is obvious now. The augments were underappreciated by transforming them into a renegade group. In real life, they probably would’ve been CEOs or other influential kinds of people. In that capacity, they could hurt a group of people to do their bidding, using their smarts and charisma instead of their muscles, making them way more menacing in the shadow.

Although the more action packed, I really enjoyed their other story with Episode Borderland began Season Four’s background building for the original series. It may be heavy on the fan service from time to time though, but I agree. This episode was, as you said, a Friday nighter. Good review. You all have a good one.

Thanks Ebos. I really liked the comment of, they probably would’ve been CEOs and influential kinds of people because there’s the whole thing of, you know, sociopaths. Yeah. A lot of CEOs are sociopaths. Yeah. They have no empathy. , they’re very cold and calculated. I, I thought that was actually a really interesting point because in reality they probably would be like, that way they wouldn’t be just going out there grabbing a ship and

shooting things.

P. P P with their ray guns and killing everybody. It would, it would be a lot more insidious.

Yeah. Of what they’d be trying to do. I feel like almost like that was potentially almost a jumping off point for the series. Battlestar Galactica, the reboot that was taking place. Yeah. Right around the same time, which it’s argument was effectively, there’s a group of people out there who aren’t actually people.

and what they’re doing is planting themselves and pulling strings, nefariously in our society in a way that’s causing distress. So it was similar kind of insurgency issues that can you trust the neighbor? Can you trust the employer, or you can you trust this teacher or doctor or soldier, but mm-hmm. done in a more malevolent, philosophical way as opposed to, Have you seen these muscles?

These muscles are stronger than your muscles. Yeah. There there.

There’s more that we can discuss when we’re talking about the episode. Yes. Yes.

Hundred percent. Yeah. So that sound in the background, that’s now loudly. That’s our read, which means it’s for Matt to read the Wikipedia description. Matt, good luck.

The Augments is the sixth episode of the fourth season of the American Science Fiction Television series, star Trek Enterprise, the 82nd episode. Overall, it is the last of a three story episode arc preceded by Borderland and Cold Station 12. The augments was directed by LaVar Burton from a script by Michael Sussman.

The series follows the Adventures of the First Star Fleet, Starship Enterprise Registration and xo. In this episode, augments genetically enhanced humans and Dr. Eric Sing. Their surrogate father escaped cold station 12 after stealing frozen augment embryos from storage. Soon plans to hide out with the augments and raise their embryos, but Malick, their leader, is tired of hiding an attempts to instigate a war between star fleet and the Klingon.

Whoa. They crammed a lot in there. It’s mainly crammed with numbers. That’s what stood out to me. Yeah, it’s, and somehow numbers become harder to read. I don’t know why , but part way through that I was like, I was like, carry the two. What’s ? What am I doing? Yeah. Asmat just mentioned season four, episode six, directed by Lava Burton.

It’s always good to see his name on the opening credits written by Michael Sussman. The original air date for this one was November 12th, and guest appearances include once again, Brent Spinner as Dr. Eric Zung, Alec Newman as Maek Abby Brak as Perus Richard Rail as Dr. Jeremy Lucas, although he’s only in it for a very brief time.

Mark Ralston as Captain Mog and Adam Grimes as Lache. And what was going on in November 12th, 2004. Well, Matt, you’ll remember this better than. Because I remember you learned all the lyrics by heart and would wrap this song occasionally. It’s over and over by Nelly featuring Tim McGraw. This is a song that, when I think about it, what I think about most is how I don’t remember it at all.

Yep. And in the movies, a little do Nothing film called The Incredibles opened to 70 million. The Incredibles, for those of you who don’t know what it is, come out of the Cave. Yes. The rest of us. It’s a fantastic movie. It’s a fantastic movie, and in my estimation is still one of the greatest superhero origin story films that’s ever made, ever.

Ever and on television Enterprise was up against the Friday night competition. Eight Simple rules and complete savages on b. C. Joined of Arcadia on cbs, the rebel billionaire Branson’s Quest for the best on Phlox. I know that I can’t stop rewatching that. Dateline DC was talking about Vegas homicide and on the wb.

What I like about you and grounded for. , well, they were basically neck and neck with enterprise. All of them were getting roughly three to 4 million viewers. So that was the competition at the time. . And then the news. One of the things we talked about last week, and we’ve already started talking about it now, the idea of insurgency, the idea of terrorism, the idea of protest after generations of feeling held back, and when you decide that.

Maybe being left alone isn’t enough. Maybe burning everything down as you leave is what’s important. And the augments in this episode really is taking the view of, if we just start a massive war between two planets, we’ll be able to go off and do whatever we want. Nobody will know what happened to us in the world at this time.

We had. President Bush being reelected. Yes. Our AAT had died. The Palestinian organizations that were trying to form government, there were arguing for a more hard line leader to replace aat, and this was during. What was at the time escalating conflict between Israel and the Palestinians. That conflict, obviously to this day has not been resolved and is having flashpoints over the past two decades, time and time again, and in Iraq where the United States was still the prime presence in trying to keep control was facing insurgents there who were on the verge of claiming the city of Mussel and fallu.

The region that that was in was becoming the hotspot for the insurgents ticking claim of territory in Iraq. So the idea of small groups being able to push back against larger, more well armed and more organized. Opponents, but being able to raise chaos was something that was absolutely on the viewer’s mind as they might have been watching these episodes.

Matt, you’ll remember that when we ended cold Station 12, it was Archer climbing the world’s longest ladder. Trying to reach a control panel, which when you, when you’re placing control panels in star Trek, I’m put it as far outta reach as you possibly can. I’m always fascinated, but the control panels are always at the midpoint of long ladders.

It’s like, it’s like, okay, where’s the control panel to stop this nuclear reactor from melting down? Oh, it’s. A quarter of a mile away, up that ladder. Like why didn’t you just put it on the other side of the room? Wouldn’t that have made sense? It’s never there. It’s always on the ladder. So he’s climbing the world’s longest ladder trying to find the spot where he can do the classic star Trek maneuver.

take a computer panel out of one side, plug it into the other side, and now everything works. And go . Everything’s fixed. Yeah. I do that all the time with my computer. I’m just ripping out panels and I’m moving things from the left side of the right side and now it’s better. I say all that with tongue in cheek.

It’s fine. It’s fine, it’s fine, it’s fine. It really is just like, it’s the, at the end of the previous episode, the bomb is, and now he needs to diffuse the bomb. And the sequence I actually think is fairly effective because the bomb, especially itself, especially the escape, is not the point. His escape is the point.

Yes, he manages to get to the panel. He is able to stop the pathogens from affecting the people who are in the control room, but he is still going to be exposed unless he can get out of the world’s longest ladder shaft. And his solution to this because he cannot be beamed out because he is still too deep in the asteroid.

He command, he sends a message to Commander T’Pol. Use the phasers on the ship to blow the hatch. It will depressurize I’ll be sucked into space. You only have moments to grab me with the teleporter. and it’s a coolest. The entire sequence is actually like something that was pretty effective and original considering.

Yep. How many years of star Trek? And it’s not too frequent that we’ve seen somebody jettisoned through the vacuum of space with the release of the air. You see this little figure going up and then when he’s captured and beamed aboard, he’s covered in ice. I thought it was all a rather effective acting action.

Opening to the, to the.

And Bell’s acting in that moment. I really love the nuance of his, him looking up the shaft. You see the wheels click in his head. Yeah. He set, he starts to tell him what to do and you can te there’s this moment where he gives the command and he looks around. It’s this very subtle moment on his face.

Yeah. Where it’s clear. He’s like, I’m not gonna enjoy this. Yeah. Like this, this, oh my God. Like he’s not looking forward to it, but he knows this is the only way he’s

like, he’s like, it just doesn’t work. This is really gonna suck. Yeah, exactly. And even if it does work, it’s still gonna suck. So it’s gonna suck.

Yeah. So he’s. Jettison into the space he’s rescued at the last minute, and now the enterprise is back and ready for getting into hot pursuit of the Klingon Bird of prey. The Klingon bird of prey is heading into Klingon territory where. Dr. Sing’s entire plan is we’ll find a place that nobody will bother coming to look for us.

And it’s this area of Klingon space that I really like. The fact that he calls it the Briar patch. It’s a nice reference to old American folklore around prayer rabbit and mm-hmm. . The, the entire thing about the Briar patch is that’s the place where Briar rabbit’s gonna feel the safest. And when he’s. He convinces the animal that has caught him.

Please don’t send me to the Briar patch. I don’t want to be there. Whatever else you do to me, just don’t send me there. And so in an attempt to now torture Briar Rabbit, he’s thrown into the Briar patch, which is of course where he wanted to be the entire time. I really like the idea that UNG has given it that name.

Mm-hmm. . Yes. And his view is there are two planets. Are hospitable for us. We’ll find one of them and we’ll, we’ll hole up there and we’ll start the process of building our new race with all the embryos that we have stolen. But Malik doesn’t like the plan, and this is where you begin to see. Now in this third episode of the three, which have.

Action forward. We are seeing in this what feels like more quintessential star Trek in the form of philosophical conversations going on between characters who are making arguments for what is the appropriate path to take when you are a subjected group. Like this is a group that has been pursu. and through no action of their own, these are before they steal the bird of prey.

They still would’ve been viewed as a problem simply because of what they are genetically. And that is what they carry with them. They, they are carrying that idea of being persecuted. So here we have now the beginning of a debate. Why are we hiding? , we are stronger. We are better. We could do something more than simply hide and song still thinks he’s in charge.

We are now seeing the augments look at each other and they’re giving each other those looks that say like, is he really calling the shots? Yeah.

This is, this is the strength of this episode and the weakness. In my opinion, this is the best of the three. I really enjoyed this episode the most out of all of them.

So what I’m about to say, don’t take it as me just dumping on it. Part of what makes a great horror movie versus a bad horror movie, like, you know, the don’t go in the basement and a character, just open the thing and go into the dark basement, and it’s like nobody in the right mind would do what this character’s doing right now.

It’s the same can be said for these philosophical debate. The, the debate has to happen in a way where it’s a step ahead of the viewer. Mm-hmm. , and as a viewer, if somebody says something in this debate and there’s an obvious response and no, and the other character does not say that obvious response, it’s like, wait, how, what?

There’s an obvious point you didn’t make. Why didn’t you make that point? That happened to me several times in this episode. The, the thought I thought I had of like, why didn’t they make this point? Would then was then made 20 minutes later, right? It’s like, why? What, what is going on here Does make sense here?

Here’s soon. He’s supposed to be one of the smartest humans ever. He said a crazy genius. And here I am, a schlub on my couch thinking of something that would’ve been obvious to rebut against Malach and his points. So for me, the, the problem came in when, um, Malach was making the point of. . We’re strong.

We’re smarter. When, when we need to fight, it’s like, why do we keep running? We can fight cuz we’re better. The obvious response is there’s 12 of you. Yeah. Are you gonna fight all of Star Fleet? All of the Klingon and all the Vulcans. If people find out where you are, what you’re doing, and you start killing people, they’re coming after you and you’re screwed.

It’s like this, the obvious. . And he never said that until, like he never brought that up until slightly like near the end of the episode. Right. And it’s like there were moments like that that kept happening in this where it was, the obvious answer was held back and I don’t know why until the end. And then there were seeds of this debate, this ethical debate that could have been brought up in episode one.

In episode two, they could have been doing a better job laying the groundwork mm-hmm. for these ethical debates that could have happened in this episode, and they didn’t. So it’s like, Elements that were like, they shortchanged themselves. They didn’t execute it on a well. But something I said before of I like the ideas and the concepts of what they were trying to do, but they just didn’t execute it as well as they could have.

Yeah. But overall I did like what they were doing here. Cause it felt very star treky to me. Yeah. The debates and the ethical dilemmas and stuff like that and the machinations that were going on, I really did enjoy it. Yeah. But it was not executed as well as it

could have been. Yeah. You mentioned the last episode that the writing seemed to be aspiring to a kind of Shakespearean, almost like when.

The Klingon storytelling took place in Next Generation. It always felt like they were putting on Shakespearean writer writing hats. Yeah. Yeah. And that seems to be on display in this episode. I really liked things that I really liked about this. I liked Perus that she started to demonstrate more of a motive behind what she was doing, as opposed to it just being, I just want to be with the strongest, which is what it looked like the first two episodes.

She, mm-hmm. , I think they could have hammered down on it more. , she had political difference of opinion from Rakim, their first leader. Mm-hmm. , who wanted to just stay where they were. She agreed with Malik that leaving was the more appropriate act, but now she’s breaking from Malik in the idea of starting war and pursuing all of that is the proper path.

They’re letting it sit a little too much with Feely Alliance with soon, which again puts her into a second class position. Yep. Yep. She’s still like, but he’s our dad and I’m. , it would’ve been better if she had been saying, going to sewing and saying like, Malik is not doing the things that make sense. You are right in what you were saying about us being outnumbered and we need to bite our time.

That is the appropriate path here. So she should have, she was given slight opportunities and did demonstrate that she is maybe the smartest of the group, but they could have really doubled down on that and really shown that where Malik was being led was through passion. more than any kind of realistic political or or philosophical approach, she could have been demonstrating a better leadership quality, and I did like the fact that she helped sing Escape when mm-hmm.

Malik ends up pulling the, the rug out from underneath song, which, which only sung, as you mentioned before, only sung doesn’t see that. Like, yeah, from the viewer’s perspective, it’s just like when he leaves the bridge and is like, I’ll be in my lab. It’s just like what? You’re trying to give them time to actually plot a coup against you, like, yes.

Yeah, I’ll be off by myself. And then when he, to double down on his stupidity, lays out what he’s doing to the embryos, like, yes, I couldn’t fathom, like, was it really so hard to say. Okay. Half

Malik’s before, before you get into that, it, he’s, he’s altering the embryos to make up for the lack of empathy. Yes.

So it’s like he recognizes that there’s a genetic issue in the original concept of these embryos. Yeah. And he’s trying to fix that. He’s trying them the better

thing. And he’s, yeah. And he’s doing that with the argument of not only is he increasing their empathy, he’s limiting their. So it’s like it’s, it’s taking something away as opposed to just adding something.

But it, he reveals all of this. Mm-hmm. , like very offhandedly. When Malik walks in, it’s just like they, Malik walks in and the two of them are immediately like, you’re a jerk. And then Malik is like, What’s going on with the embryos? And he is like, oh, with the embryos, let me tell you everything I’m doing.

And it like, it doesn’t follow logically from the context of the beginning of the conversation. And I’m like, was it really too hard to say? Okay. They go in, they have a conversation, have Malik go back. When isn’t there and look at what he is doing and have Malik already know, like have Malik have the intelligence to be able to go in and look at things and say like, you’re altering these genes.

You’re, you’re doing things to change them. That’s not okay. I like too that that’s the entire argument. Against the augments to begin with. I like, it’s like layers of repeated arguments where it’s, they’re arguing like you’re making an argument now, which would be against yourself, but the irony of


But they don’t go ahead. But they don’t, but that’s the thing is like that. That’s the thing that drive drove me nuts. Yeah. It’s like he says that. Yeah. And it’s like, wait, that’s you. Yeah. That’s why you, that’s how you were creating. Yeah. How could you make that argument soon? Should immediately throw that right back in his face.

You wouldn’t be here if we hadn’t done this. Yeah. We’re This is steps towards improvement. Yes. And so it’s like, it could have been a really interesting debate and I kept thinking like, if this was a next generation episode and you had Patrick Stewart arguing something, I feel like they would’ve nailed this.

Yeah. And it would’ve been the most amazing back and forth te tote in between two characters. And this felt like I, I don’t know, it didn’t feel like it was firing all the cylinders. It felt like it was kind of, , uh, half written, half thought out, and like, like I keep bringing it up. It’s like the obvious responses to each character for what they were saying.

There are obvious things that they could have thrown right back in their face to cut the legs out from their argument. Mm-hmm. , but they were never done. And then when they were done, it was done like 25 minutes later in the episode. Like the whole how Malik is just so quick to go kill people. And it wasn’t until the end that you have soon say, You know, if you keep doing this, killing all these people is gonna prove to them that you’re the monster.

They think you are. Right. It’s like somebody should have said that an episode ago. It’s like . Right? It’s like, didn’t make any sense. That point would’ve been brought up so early. You, you’re too quick to go to Killing. Killing should be a last resort. Yeah. Because if you go to that, it’s gonna set everybody against you.

It’s, it should be an absolute last, last resort. And nobody brought that up. And it was, it was irritating. It’s like, don’t go in the basement. Why are you going in the basement? Um, it kept happening

again and again. Yeah, I agree. I agree with everything you just said, and it’s, and it’s, and to be clear, you and I are both looking for more development of what is here.

Yeah. , I’m not looking for, it’s, it’s good stuff. Like this is good stuff. It’s good stuff, and I’m not looking for any of it to be wiped away. Just, just tighten it up a little bit because you have that moment between Malik and Song. That conversation should take place, but it shouldn’t be derailed by Malik saying, so what’s going on with the embryos?

Like, no. Like, let them have an argument and let Malik look at the screen casually and say like, if I’m reading this correctly, you’re altering these genes. What are you. , like have that moment, don’t have something like, oh yeah, you were just questioning me in front of the crew and I really don’t like that.

But let me tell you how I’m gonna alter your brothers and sisters . So would not like he would do that. He would not do that. He would not like that. Would, he should have been trying to like hide the screen. He should have been trying to do this. Quietly without anybody’s knowledge, but instead it’s just like, yeah, lemme tell you about how I’m taking away the aggression that you’re demonstrating.

I’m taking it outta your brothers and sisters, so everything’s gonna be okay. Like what that, that, that just doesn’t hold together as a scene. Yeah. A lot of what is happening outside of the ship, and again, what’s happening on the bird of prey, I like the sequence there. It’s just a little bit of the dialogue, a little bit tightening was needed.

Stuff that was happening about the enter. I thought was great. I like the sequence between Trip and De Paul where they’re basically like, yeah, like, like what are we? And trip is hurt, and he’s dealing with that hurt. And he makes a point of saying, yeah, I’m, yeah, I’m gonna be hurting for a while. But we’re like, what were the chances for us anyway?

And you can see to Paul’s response of being like, , perhaps we would’ve liked that opportunity to find out. And yeah, that scene. Is really nice and really necessary at this point in the show. You can’t have too many episodes go by where you don’t have that being addressed and they spread it out over a number of episodes and little tiny scenes, scenes like this, which I appreciated.

I really like the, again, to go back to, they’re building bridges between this and the original series. Very, very Kirk like. And, and his ability to con his way this past Lingon ship that scene for me is amazing, is the, is the pinnacle of this episode where I agree his ability to do all of that. And in a very Kirk like way you can imagine this in the original series where Kirk would be doing all this and then look, he’d be sitting in his chair and looking Sidelong at Spock, be like, am I gonna get away with this?

And Spock’s eyebrow shooting up with a like, I don’t know where you’re going with this, but good luck. This kind of moment where Reid is the one who’s sitting there just like. Like, are you gonna get away with this? This is the idea. This can’t possibly work. Yeah. The audacity of they’re being pulled, uh, they’re basically being pulled over by a Klingon patrol ship and archer’s response is to go to Hoshi and say like, did you update the universal translator with all the Klingon stuff?

And she’s like, yeah, we’ve got seven dialects. Hopefully this works. Yeah. With one of those. And then he just goes in with braggadocio and says, , Hey, like you guys have no right to pull us over and doing all of this at a distance while the patrol ship is getting close enough to actually see what the ship looks like.

Great scene. It’s, it’s incredible. It’s my favorite scene in the entire episode and what I wrote down was it was really cool to see his character think on his feet and also to show the evolution of him. Yeah. Because the understanding of how Klingons think and. Has clearly seeped in. Yeah, because before he would’ve been apologetic and it would’ve been clear that he wasn’t the Klingon, but he did what Klingons would do, be kind of like confrontational, and it was just really a very fun conversation.

And it kind of makes you like Archer even more. Yeah, it’s he’s, he’s very Kirk like

in this moment. Yeah. He didn’t go the conversation where he’s trying to, to mimic what a Klingon captain would talk like. He doesn’t start the conversation by saying hi, who are. , he starts with like, mm-hmm. , whoever’s coming toward us, we’re gonna blow you out of space if you don’t stop coming in this direction.

Yeah. It’s just right out of the gate. And then he keeps upping the ante brilliantly. Even claiming like, we’ve got the chancellor on board. Like the reality of that is so outside the scope of reality, but the fact that he says this and the direction that they’re coming. Would’ve been from Orion Space. So you end up with such a great moment where this other captain is just like, oh, I’ve heard about his proclivity for the Orion slave girls.

Is it true what they say about him when he gets around them and it, and then his response of, you better shut up. Like you’re on an unsecured channel and you’re talking about our chancellor. That way you’re an idiot. And the whole thing of like getting this other guy to basically back off and. and, and say like, well, you know, tell ’em I said hi

Like, and the whole, the whole sequence was just, was, was really well written. And it was written, yeah. With the kind of attitude that you would’ve seen from Kirk in, I kept thinking about undiscovered country. I kept thinking about like all the different places where you see Kirk around Clingons and his ability to say like, look, I’m not afraid of.

I know what your mindset is. I know how you approach conflict and I’m not afraid of you cuz I know I can back it up when I need to. And this kind of starting point of like, I know your mindset. I know how to play with what you think is happening and for them to get out of it the way they did. And then I like the second confrontation between Klingons, where you end up.

the enterprise. Basically saying like, we know that if we go toe to toe with this ship, it’s going. Beat us. So they have to come up with some other means of getting away, and it’s something we haven’t really seen before in the grapplers, in Star Trek, using the grapplers and just ripping one of the neels off the enemy ship.

I thought that that sequence was really interesting, original, and did a great job for the episode of showing Archer, saying like, I have to think on my. Again, and this is all being done post ejected into space. The first 20 minutes of this episode, he looks like his eyes are about to pop out of his head.

he looks terrible. A bloodshot in red and he’s, and he’s acting as if he’s in. Extreme physical discomfort when he first shows up on the bridge. And to Paul says, I didn’t realize the doctor had released you. And he said he didn’t. It’s like he’s there simply because like, I need to be in the captain’s chair.

I can’t be anywhere else. He looks terrible. So the fact that he’s doing all of this post, that traumatic in incident, I think really ups the, the level of respect you get as like, yeah, this is like, he’s really defining what a captain. . There’s a lot of

new things we’ve never seen in star Trek like you’re talking about, like using, using the grapplers to fight element and ejecting himself into space.

There were these nice elements in these series of episodes that we’ve never seen in Star Trek before that made it novel and fun and new, and it made it feel engaging. Yeah, and I wish this show had done more of that, the run the series. Yeah. But one of the other things I talked about in the last episode was I really enjoyed the one-liners that are delivered in these episodes.

And soon had another one in this one where Malach tells him Archer’s dead and soon is very angry about him killing Archer. Mm-hmm. . And then when Archer, when the enterprise catches up to them and they think a Klingon chip is coming up behind them and they put it on screen and it’s actually Enterprise and Archer, they open the communications and Archer says something to them.

Mm-hmm. and sings face, Brent Spiner’s face of just this look of almost like relief. Yeah. And kind of. Joy of like, oh good, he is alive. And then he just turns to malach and goes, sounds pretty confident for a dead man, . It’s like, yeah. It’s like those little moments. It was like those were the refreshing, fun.

This is a, you know, a space western. Yeah. It, it had that kind of feel to it, which made it very, very star Trek for me, and I really enjoyed

it. So as we mentioned before, Perus has, uh, a sequence. Malik runs an entire coup, locks up soon, Perus goes and releases him and in their attempt to, to figure out like what path can we take?

His response is, you just gotta get me off this ship. Like his main thing is he is now terrified of Malik’s plan to kill. , a colony of Clingons in order to instigate a war with Earth. And he’s like, you’re gonna kill tens of millions of people if you do this. And Malik is like, not my problem. So he’s hellbent now on stopping this plan, and the only way to do that is to get off the ship.

So she gets him to an escape pod and she has disabled sensors so that the escape pod release will not be picked up on the bridge. This leads directly to. What is unfortunately a post-coital moment between Yeah, her and Malik, where they’re lying there and we, we’ve mentioned this before, the outfits for all the augments being torn up, pajamas just is not a good look.

The fact that you see them wearing alternate outfits, Is mm-hmm. strange because, oh, so you have multiple outfits that are all torn and out of shape. That makes a lot of sense. So you see the two of them in bed, he casually, semi casually, brings up the fact that, oh yeah, somebody did something to release zung and lets her spool unspool enough lies for him to basically say, I know it’s.

and she then springs into action. And there is, for me, this was the closest to con as the, the character Malik would get. He’s very con like from this moment through the rest of the episode. Yeah, and this was another point where I was like, oh, if only they’d gone back with this writing back into the earlier episodes and really kind of like placed a little bit more of this into the thinking.

Mm-hmm. , he’s, it’s both action oriented cuz he and pers are fighting, but he’s also philosophical in why he’s doing all of these things. And he has this attack with her where she starts to defend herself and he gets a hold of the knife and very con like he kills. Brutally it is for like, if this was on at a different time, I think we would’ve seen where the knife went, but we don’t.

Yeah. And that made it worse the way that he shifts his body again and again. You get the sense that he’s potentially gutting her and then he pulls her close and he kisses her on the mouth, and it’s this passionate embrace of this woman that he’s just murdered very, very con like to me. Mm-hmm. , it really spoke of like he’s working on multiple levels at.

and he’s got this ultimate plan and he’s not gonna let this stand in the way, even though he loves the individual who’s trying to stop him. I wish there had been a little bit more of a, you have a plan, but it’s not right. I wish there had been a little bit more of that, but it ultimately, His turn in this scene goes directly into a conversation.

He later on has with sung about what Khan represented, and I loved that scene. Did that scene stand out for you? Oh,

yeah, yeah, yeah. When he brought up the Botany Bay. Yeah. And the debate around like, it’s a myth. It’s not a myth. It almost doesn’t matter if it’s a myth. Yeah. U using that as a leverage to his conversation, I thought was a very good, compelling moment.

But to spin that into the whole con thing, I think they went a little too close to. With the end of this episode

because he burned in the same way. He was like, oh,

I feel like I’m watching the end of Wrath of Khan right now. Yeah, it’s like the bridge. Everybody’s dead on the bridge or knocked out, and here he is scrambled across the floor with half his face burned, just like Khan.

And then he goes over and he pulls up the ship and it was kind of like, I didn’t quite understand why he blew up the ship where in Wrath of Khan, he was doing it, thinking that he was actually going to still win because he was going to take ’em all down. , he was gonna kill the enterprise. Here’s, here’s Malach going, I’m gonna blow up the ship, which is not gonna hurt anybody but us.

I did not understand.

I disagree. I think that he did it. I think he did it because he knew it would give him cover to use whatever transporter he used to be able to get aboard the enterprise,

but he killed. All of his family. Yes. He destroyed all of the embryos. Yes. And it was like, that made no sense to me.

I think in that

moment. For him, the pursuit of vengeance against Sing for having betrayed his own children was what became the driving force for him. I would’ve appreciated a little bit more dialogue at the end that would’ve underscored that, but that’s how I read all of that, that Oh his. Mm-hmm. , he knows he is not gonna get away.

He knows he’s never gonna have the freedom that he’s pursuing. So rather, Have all of his siblings locked back up, he will simply end their lives thereby releasing them, and he will take the moment of exacting revenge against the one who ultimately was responsible for undoing their entire plan soon.

Because at the end we’ve kind of skipped over the pursuit of the enterprise, the fact that it, it has escaped from the second Klingon ship. , there’s kind of a nail biter that feels less imposed on the show than the previous nail biter moment of the end of the previous episode. This, mm-hmm. like having to fly at top speed, potentially ripping the ne cells off of the enterprise trip.

Literally says like, if you keep going this speed much longer, you’re gonna rip the neels off the ship. Archer’s response is, we need to go faster. And he’s like, I’ll give you what I got. And so they are trying to desperately beat a, it is described as being we are gonna be there in two minutes, but in 72 seconds they’re gonna be able to release their weapon.

So they are trying to shave those seconds off and it is literally, Mayweather saying I need 10 more seconds. And Archer saying, come outta warp at the last possible second. They come outta warp and read shoots, torpedoes that just barely catch up with the weapons release, and it’s a very dramatic action oriented Starship.

Mm-hmm. action. I really, really liked it. I, I, I thought it was more engaging and more exciting than the final fight against the Xindi weapon. This, yes, this really struck me as like, this feels like this is made. By people who are accustomed to what they did in Next Generation, what they did in movies like Generations, what they did in undiscovered country like this felt like it was of that.

So you end up with the weapon being destroyed and they managed to disable the Bird of Prey, the Malach and his augment. Brethren are on leading to this moment of, and I agree with you, it was lifted right outta con. He has a burn on one side of his face. He’s crawling around on the ship and he goes onto a panel and he slams his hand down and you see the ship explode.

But. At the end we see that he has managed to get aboard the enterprise and he is there to kill Soon, he is about to do so. And you get a kind of graphic hole in the belly moment. Yeah. When Archer shoots him from behind with one of the Mako weapons and instead of just vaporizing him, it’s actually punched a hole through his stomach and Malach drops.

We are then given, like up to this point, this episode has had quite a bit of fan service. All three episodes have had a bunch of fan service. We’ve seen Orion Slave Girls, which we hadn’t seen since the original series. We see Klingons in a number of different scenes. We get a Archer able to fake his way past a patrol ship.

We’re seeing the sequence where they rip the nael off of another Klingon chip. These all feel very original series. Mm-hmm. , you see constant references. from the augments toward Con. In this episode, the reference to the Botany Bay, which is a bit of a ret con, but a very, very smart one laying it out as well.

The Botany Bay was their attempt to escape, not their imprisonment. I really liked that. I liked that it was, well, not only did they want to escape, but they wiped all records of the ship to make it seem as if it didn’t exist so they could escape. I really liked that. . So there’s all of those things that are going on in this.

Lots of fan service, but ultimately the biggest piece of fan service in this one is they return soon to his cell. And as they’re locking ’em up, Archer says casually, well, the things that you’ve been writing have not been destroyed. They are being kept because potentially the work that you are doing here in this cell might have some purpose for humanity.

And if it does, it will be pursued so soon is being told your legacy may actually continue and soon almost as a non-sequitur is like, well, I think I’m done with augments, but I’m thinking about cybernetics, maybe artificial life. Yeah, and there’s a lot of. Unnecessary dialogue. Winking at the audience where he is saying like, it might take a couple of generations.

I might not be able to finish this work, but, and then he sits down and begins to scribble. Uh, I smiling, smiling to himself. I got this beginning to Scrabble scribble, and you can almost imagine that what he is, right? I thought they were gonna show us the page and it was gonna say, build a robot named. . So , it’s very fan servicey, but at the end, yeah, as all that was happening, I was like, this is a lot of fan service.

But I kind of enjoyed it. It was fine. Yeah. It was kind of fun. Yeah, it was a fun ending to the, to the moment. So I think that the overall gist of our conversations on these three episodes has been, yeah, we get what you’re doing. We wish you did a a little bit better if I enjoyed it. Yeah. Yeah. And I feel

like it was fun.

It was fun. Yeah. It could have been better, but it was fun. Yeah, it was fun. And I

feel. What we’re seeing is, strangely enough, been from the beginning. Mm-hmm. , and I think that it’s being pushed in this direction now by a new show runner. We’ve mentioned it before, Mani Koto was given the reins. At this point, you’re seeing the birth pains of a vision for the series, which is very different from how it originated, and it’s kind of the pros and cons.

Not intending to, not intending to use that as a pun this time. The pros and cons of the previous season having been one unified story. Mm-hmm. , they are having to not only reinvent what the show is, but reinvented episodically, where imagine a world in which season three was not one coherent seasonal story, but was doing a little bit more of this.

Mm-hmm. . It might have ended up with the series gaining a bit more of an audience. This is a case where you and I have talked about enjoying Overrid overriding story arcs, and we even like season three, but there’s. Possibility that the reason the series moved from Wednesdays to Fridays, the reason that it was on the bubble and might have been canceled after season three.

The reason that it could not build an audience is because by relying on one long seasonal story arc, you couldn’t get into it. A new audience couldn’t jump in. Here we have storytelling, which is constantly saying, , remember the original series, but not doing it in a way that they did in season one. Season One felt very much like, Hey, remember the original series?

Or, remember Next Generation. Remember how much you enjoyed all those things and it felt like things were being handed to you on a platter. I think these three episodes do a much better job of saying, Hey, remember that flavor you really liked? This dish is full of that, but it’s not. It’s copying it


Season three was kind of ahead of its time, cuz like we’re in a series state now with television where that’s the norm. Yeah. Because we have streaming. It’s like you can watch any episode, anytime. You can sit down, binge the entire show catch up. Yeah. Where this was a time period where you had VCRs and you just had DVRs just kind of showing up brand new at this point.

Yep. So it was like, and there was no streaming, there was no on demand. It was, if you missed the episode, you just missed it. It’s gone. You’re not gonna. Maybe for a couple years before a DVD comes out later. Yeah. So it’s the more episodic structure does make more sense at that time period. Yeah. So it’s like they, they kind of hurt themselves with season three by shutting out new audiences, doing it the

way they did.

Yeah. So, to our viewers and listeners, do you agree with that? Do you think that this is a really interesting direction for the series to be going in, or do you prefer the overall story? Model like season three portrayed, could you have envisioned a season four that might have been committed to the same single story in the way that season three did?

Or do you like what they’re trying to do by recreating this kind of episodic storytelling? And do you like how they pulled in the original series for these episodes? The way Matt and I appear to have let us know in the comments next time we’re gonna be talking about the episode, the Forge, before we get to.

Matt, is there anything that you wanted to share with our audience about what you have coming up on your other channel?

Yeah, on undecided, I have a video coming out about a 17 year old kid who designed an updated electric motor that. I nobody else has done, and it’s got a lot of potential. It’s really, really interesting.

Okay, so there’s a savant out there. Keep an eye out for that one. Yes, as for me, you can check out my website, sean Ferrell dot com. You can also just go to any book seller or your public library. That means Amazon, Barnes and Noble, your local bookstore bookshop.org. Anywhere that you find your books, you should be able to find my books.

So check that. And if you’d like to support the show, don’t forget to leave a review. Subscribe. You can do all of that at Apple, Spotify, Google, wherever it is. You picked up this podcast, go back there. That also includes YouTube. You can of course subscribe there as well. And if you’d like to more directly support the show.

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Other star Trek programs, star Wars, Lord, the Rings, whatever, passes by our fancy. And in an upcoming episode that’s gonna be released soon, we’re gonna be talking about Willow. We’re also gonna be talking about a movie called The Menu, which has just been released on hbo. So we hope you’ll check that out by supporting us directly.

All of that really does help support the show. Thank you so much everybody, for taking your time and listening or watching, and we’ll talk to you next time.

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