83: Kir’Shara – Star Trek Enterprise Season 4, Episode 9

Matt and Sean talk about the Vulcans finding their way back to being… Vulcan. This is wrapping up an interesting story arc from Star Trek lore. 

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Welcome everybody to episode 83 of Trek in Time, where we’re gonna be talking about being illogical. That’s right. We’re talking about Kir’Shara from episode nine of season four of Enterprise. Welcome to Trek in Time, where if you’re a regular listener, you should know what I’m doing. We’re watching all of star Trek and chronological order.

That means we’re currently watching enterprise. We’re in the year 2004 because we also talk about what’s going on in the world at the time of original broadcast. And so far I’ve only talked about myself, but I keep using the we. Is that the royal We ? No, you idiot. . It’s me and my brother. My brother Matt of undecided with Matt Ferrell.

He’s the tech guy and guru behind looking at, wow, that didn’t come out right at all.

Gonna go back to 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 with us looking at Trek in chronological order and taking a look at the world at the time, original broadcast, we’re looking at Enterprise and we’re looking at the year 2004.

And Matt, how are you? I’m still

thawing out from the cold New England weekend that we’ve been having. . Yes. Thankfully it’s warmed up

today, but bitter, bitter, cold in the northeast, and I think sometime today or tomorrow. It’s supposed to be up in the forties or fifties here in New York. Yeah. So it’s like I knew the weather was coming just because everybody had been talking about it.

Yeah. But it was Friday at lunchtime, I sat down to eat a sandwich. Sat down, delicious looking sandwich, and I’m like, I’m gonna join my sandwich. By the time I finished the sandwich, I had a migraine that was going through my left eye that hadn’t existed when I sat down. So yeah, in about 20 minutes I went from HMM, sandwich to somebody drive over me with a truck, please, because I can’t take this anymore.

And it was all because of the tremendous shift in the weather. The temperature while I was eating lunch apparently dropped something like 15 to 20 degrees, so, definitely was related to that, but enough about the weather. Matt can’t talk about the weather. This entire podcast, we have to talk about Kir’Shara Enterprise Season four, episode nine.

Season four. Let that sink in. Season four. And why do I say let that sink in? Because this is the moment when suddenly the show feels like, oh, this is just full blown star Trek. We’ve had varying levels of trekishness over the three previous seasons. There have been moments where we’re like, this is where they find their footing.

And yes, they did find their footing earlier than this, but I feel like these three episodes, and by the time we get to this one in particular, it’s just, oh, this is star Trek. Did you feel that way about this one as well? Yeah, when when they got into the

Expanse, you know, it was like, oh, the show found its footing.

It’s. Yeah, now it feels like it’s found its star Trek footing, cuz it does feel super star Trek. Yeah. You know, debates about ethical questions and dilemmas and then a little action mixed in it. It feels very star Trek to me

too. And having a full-blown return to Vulcan, having the classic Vulcan weapon make its reprise.

Little elements like that, just put it into terrain. Feels like it was largely missing. Yeah. Before we get into talking about the current episode, Matt, did you have any comments from the previous ones that you wanted to share? Yes,

there were a couple I wanted to bring up. Uh, one from regular commenter PaleGhost 69.

Uh, he wrote Greetings from the laundromat. I made sure to plan laundry for today so I could watch the episode and podcast while sitting here. Priorities,

Smart. Yes. Perfect. Use of our

podcast while you’re doing laundry and folding those socks. Enjoy a little star Trek. Uh, the other comment was from AJ Chan, the regular commenter.

Speaking of the animated series. I hope you plan to go through those episodes after your review, the original series. I’ve watched a few episodes, but would enjoy watching the series more if it’s alongside your weekly Trek in Time , and you and I have not really completely talked about or nailed done exactly what we’re gonna do with this.

We have, I have thoughts, we have

thoughts, we have talked about this. I know where I stand on this. I am fully on board with watching these and incorporating them even as individual episodes. I’m like fully on board with that. So I’m, it’s really up to that with not, so I’m not important. Listen, if you , if you wanna play this podcast in that direction, Send your correspondence to Matt, like it is absolutely up to him because I am like, yes, we should do this.

Because some of them are not only just full blown, really good Trek stories, Uhhuh, some of them do things that no other Trek had done before or after. So there’s some stuff in there in the animated shows that are really, really compelling. Yeah,

I don’t, I don’t wanna do it as a standalone. I want to do. I could see maybe we’re doing it alongside the original series, like we talk about an episode a week of the original series, and then we tack on a little animated, like talk about it afterwards.

I’m not on board with this at Standalone, so we’ll

have to see

All right. Well, listeners jump into the comments. Do you think that we should incorporate them as I suggested that would. You know, vote A for incorporating them as standalone episodes where we would talk about them the way we talk about all the episodes of Star Trek. Should we do what Matt suggested that would be B, where it becomes incorporated as a like wagon to a talk.

Mm-hmm. about the original series, which I don’t like that idea, so we’ll just let that set. Or column c. Should I do things on my own and just record standalone episodes that might be released in this channel? Just me talking about them just because I love those so much. So let us know in the comments.

Jump in and weigh in on that. But enough of that, cuz you can hear the sound in the background. That’s the read alert, which can mean only one thing. It’s time for Matt to read the Wikipedia description. And of course we’ve mentioned this before. , Matt, you don’t have to struggle as much as you used to. We’ve reached the point where there’s actually enough, I think, viewer interest in the episodes to drive people to Wikipedia, to revise the descriptions in ways that actually make sense, so, mm-hmm.

please enjoy. This description as you read it, I feel

like I should get out some brandy. Get on my, uh, .

Yes. Smoking a Leatherback chair in front of a fire. Yes. Yes. Oh,

hi. I didn’t see you there. set in the 22nd century. This series follows the Adventures of the First Star Fleet, Starship Enterprise Registration NX oh one.

In this episode, enterprise attempts to overt a war is caught in the crossfire between Vulcan and Andorrian Starships literally. Meanwhile, captain Archer, commander T’Pol and T’Pau aimed to take the Kir’Shara to the Vulcan capital and use it to reveal Ambassador V’Las plot to the rest of the Vulcan high command.

And I almost got

toy at the end there. Yeah, he’s not in, he’s He’s administrator, but Administrator, yeah. That was not a fault of WikiEd six of one. That was just Matt not knowing how to read. No. So this is episode number nine of season four. It’s directed by David Livingston. This is his second of the season, but definitely not his first ever.

He’s been a recurring name in the director’s seat, written by Michael Sussman. Again, a regular contributor as a writer. This is his third of the season. And the original error date of this was December 3rd, 2004. Guest appearances include Robert Foxworth as administer V’Las. Again, Jeffrey Combs, again, his sixth appearance as Commander Shran, John Rubenstein as Minister Kuvak, Gary Graham.

Again, a regular of the series as Ambassador Soval, Michael Riley Burke as Koss Kara Zediker as T’Pau Todd Stashwick as Talok and Jack Donner as the Vulcan. And I wanted to call out Jack Donner in particular. Jack Donner appeared in the original series. He was in the enterprise incident as the Romulan commander, sub Commander, tall, and I actually found a photograph of him, which we may include in the video on YouTube and.

I just thought it was a really great little tip of the hat to him to bring him back in this role. And what was the world like when this originally aired on December 3rd, 2004? Well, Matt, I have been making the same joke over and over for weeks now. , whenever we get to, what did you listen to over and over?

At this time of year in 2004. Oh boy. And the reason I’m making this joke over and over is because over and over we find out that the song that was the number one song in the country was over and over by Nelly featuring Tim McGraw. As I’ve mentioned before, I’ve said it over and over. We will be hearing this over and over about over.

And. For the rest of 2004 and at the movies joking to the ground, it’s no longer a horse. I’m just gonna keep beating the ground. I’ve made a divot and I’m just gonna keep going at the movies for the second week National Treasure. The 2004 Action adventure film featuring Nicholas Cage was the number one movie.

It added another 32 million on its way to earning eventually 347. and on television. Well, once again, we’re looking at Enterprise, trying to make a dent on the Friday night lineup. What does that mean? They’re up against on ABC Eight Simple Rules and Complete Savages. Those shows were getting roughly 6 million viewers each on CBS Frosty the Snowman, the animated oh boy, holiday film, getting 10 million viewers and Frosty Returns, the highly anticipated sequel.

In which we find out, can a snowman survive? The coming of spring also got 10 million viewers, that 70 show and Quintuplets. Hmm Quintuplets. Remember that show, Matt? Oh, absolutely. Yeah, I know you were a huge fan of that. On Fox they received 3 million viewers each, and that’s in repeat. So here we have eight simple rules, complete Savage.

Getting 6 million. Frosted The Snowman, a short animated show, and its sequel that were produced, I believe, in the 1960s getting 10 million. Yeah, that seventies show on Quintuplets in repeat, getting 3 million Dateline n c featuring interview with Leonard DiCaprio, an actor who, whatever happened to him getting 8 million viewers.

And then on the wb, what I like about you and Grounded for life, both getting about 2 million. So Enterprise was able to beat the w. with this episode, it earned 3 million viewer. And here’s the thing, that’s kind of the sad trombone moment of this. This would be a season high for enterprise. So does it come as any surprise?

This would be the final season for this show. And in the news some highlights from the headlines around this time. On December 3rd, 2004, Dragomir the General who Besieged Sarajevo for three years during the Bosnian Civil War, surrendered to the United Nations International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia, 12,000 people died during the siege, and he would eventually go on to be convict.

And sentenced to 33 years for multiple counts of murder, terror, and inhumane acts. Also in the news, c b S and N B C refused to air an advertisement by the United Church of Christ citing the advocacy of accepting homosexuals as two controversial. I did a double take as I read that, as a half line. Yeah, that’s surprising.

I forgot. . And there was also this about the People’s Republic of China. They launched a new long range nuclear submarine and an accompanying class of ballistic missiles with a range in excess of 7,400 kilometers developed by the People’s Liberation Army. And the reason this caught my eye was not because of the news itself, but because of its strange relation to current events Just yesterday.

As we’re recording this, the United States used a Sidewinder missile launched from an airplane to shoot down a spy satellite or a spy balloon from China. Spy balloon. Yeah. And China has continued to argue that it was scientific research done by private individuals. However, this is the fourth time since 2016 that this has happened.

So onto today’s episode, we find ourselves. Everything left hanging at the end of the previous episode. The enterprise is on its way to Andoria, Archer and Teal are stuck in the Vulcan desert with Teo trying to figure out how to get the Kir’Shara back to a place where it’ll do the most good. And. , Matt, which of these two major plot lines do you want to visit first?

Let’s do with the Kir’Shara stuff. Uh, the captain. Okay. So my first question to you is what aspects of this stood out to you as being the biggest leap forward for this show? Cuz there’s a lot here that feels very much like star Trek and there are some elements that feel a little samey. Basically any action show.

So you get moments where like, oh, people are running and people are. Fighting one another. And there’s those aspects, but sometimes there are things within those that strike us as being like, okay, this is an appropriate thing for this show to be pushing forward now. And I’m wondering what elements of this part struck you as being like the biggest gold nuggets to hold onto?

Uh, well, one thing

I would say is the whole white savior, human savior, a Vulcan aspect that we kind of ridiculed a little bit last time. It’s even more here than this one for me. Yeah. But putting that to the side, what I really, really liked about this storyline was the, the delving into the Vulcan history that star Trek lore that really scratched the itch for me around how the Vulcans were finding their way back towards what we know of at Vulcans from the original series and beyond, and how the texts that’s in the Kir’Shara

that we discover by the end is what is the key, and seeing the whole thing, kind of the debate between T’Pol and the captain as to whether he’s still, whether he actually is experiencing the memories or the soul of the Vulcan that’s inside him or not. That aspect of it. I really enjoyed the debate between the two of them a lot.

I enjoyed how the captain is now fully embracing what’s happening to him. He’s. He doesn’t seem to be like the last episode. He was kind of grappling with what is kind of happening to me. Like there were moments where he was looking kind of befuddled, and this one that was all gone. He’s just full on, I got this dude in me.

I know stuff. Let’s go. Just, he was just, yeah, in full on. embracing what was happening and totally was into it. And the whole thing of like he’s doing the Vulcan neck pinch, I thought was a nice little, little touch because it was, and even, um, uh, what was it? T’Pau even commented at one point of, your technique is getting better.

It’s like, yeah, when he took somebody down, it was like little elements like that showing how this is affecting him and making him more Vulcan like in his approach to things was a lot of fun. But I just really enjoyed the, for me, the golden nugget was seeing. What is meant to be a pivotal moment in Vulcan history, kind of un playing in front of our eyes, which is what I expect at a star Trek.

I expect some, you know, this is going to have some kind of a profound effect. It’s kinda like the next generation, the whole Borg stuff with the captain getting, you know, captured. It’s like it’s a pivotal moment. We’re watching the pivotal moments of star Trek history, and that’s what makes the star Trek shows star Trek to me.

Yeah. And here’s a pivotal moment in star Trek history that we’re watching, and so that’s kind of why I liked that storyline of. Setting aside the fact that the captain had to be the person that’s the one saving. Vulcan. , yeah. Still don’t like, but I did like what they were exploring and the conversations

around that.

I agree with you. When you boil down a lot of the original series, it really does come down to. , the enterprise meets a group of people they haven’t ever interacted with before, and something changes the course of either the members of the crew or the people on the planet, like, yep. It’s that pivot point that you’re talking about.

And that’s dramatic storytelling. That’s why we tell stories. Mm-hmm. , if you tell a story about, you go to the store and you bought some groceries and you brought them. , what’s, what’s the point of that story? But if you go to the grocery store and you meet the love of your life, that’s a story. So, mm-hmm. , I think that that’s on display here in, in the discussion around what does it mean to be Vulcan.

Archer has some really great comments where he’s laughingly talking to, T’Pol about, I never got you guys before, and now I do , like I get it. , like what you’ve been pursuing, the centeredness like it’s almost like he’s gone on an accidental spiritual retreat and he even with, yes, maybe I’ll pick up meditation.

And she says, it would probably be beneficial for you . It’s this sort of accidental convert and she doesn’t even know how to interpret this. Side of the captain saying, I understand and appreciate you in a way that I didn’t before. And this is after they already have a very good relationship at this point.

At this point, there’s no question. Yeah, she is, has totally made herself devoted to support of him. The fact that she has joined star fleet and she says, of the Syrrannites, this radical faction, and he makes the point of. , you went so far as to join Starfleet which a lot of Vulcans would consider radical. So yeah, it’s a lot of discussion around context matter of perspective and relationships.

There’s this great sequence where T’Pau reveals that she had actually mind melded with T’Pol’s mother. It’s a little reminiscent of Spock and Picard talking about the fact that. Spock had never melded with his father, and Picard offers him the opportunity to meld with him. Mm-hmm. , that is played for a lot more deep emotional impact than this.

And I think intentionally so. I think they knew they had an echo going here that they didn’t want to try and recreate too much. But it’s, it’s a nice moment. Nonetheless, it is reflective of, T’Pol’s struggles with her. Relationship to being, first of all, she brings up the mind melding, which she was forced into the Pinnar syndrome, which she has struggled with, and the emotional changes in her post going into the expanse and the changes she put herself through, through the taking in of that mineral.

Mm-hmm. . So here she is now revealing these things to T’Pol, to T’Pau and T’Pau surprises her with. I could probably. fix the pinnars because that is as much a myth as the mind melding itself. It is. It’s our birthright birth, it’s our birthright. And the pinnar syndrome T’Pau explains is when somebody who doesn’t know what they’re doing inadvertently causes damage, but T’Pau suggests she could fix it.

So I think we have another turning point on a personal level for T’Pol who post this experience. And we’ll talk about another element of her journey later on, I’m sure. But in this moment it is potentially another shifting point for her as a Vulcan. And there is a reflection of Vulcan society in general as the result of the Kir’Shara making a a giant turn.

Now, let me ask you this.

One of the things I really liked about this part that you’re talking about, Is how everything wo weaves together so neatly in what this, this show has been doing from the very beginning. Yeah. And I’m not sure if it was intentional or a happy accident because all along the Vulcan have been more emotional and we’re used to a little more devious than we’ve ever seen them.

The outright lie, which we’ve not seen them do. The whole, their sp the outpost where they’re spying all that stuff from the very first season to now is like they’ve set it up that the Vulcans. Not what we know. And in this, they’re clearly showing that here’s this repressive regime in Vulcan that has basically said mind melding is basically illegal.

It’s taboo. It’s dangerous. Yeah. Um, Syrrannites are this faction that’s been shoved off to the side and this, it’s very deliberate because we talked about this last time, mind meld. , you become one with each other. You can’t lie. Yeah. So it’s like lying becomes impossible in a society where everybody can mind,

Mel, it’s also if you can’t lie.

Yeah. So the teachings, the teachings would be transmitted directly as opposed to being lost. Right. That, that, that’s part of it too. So, so,

so a regime wouldn’t be able to lie to its people. Yeah, so it’s kind of like, it makes sense why you would ban mind melding, and here they are like, oh no, it’s our birth right to do this.

And so once they get that back going into the future star Trek, you can understand why suddenly all the Vulcans are very matter of fact. They don’t lie. They’re following the, you know, they’re all kind of following that Syrrannites mentality. , but it makes

sense more. They’re more uniform depiction of them as well, correct?

Right. So it’s like, I don’t know if that was an accident, like I don’t know if it was like they weren’t thinking about this in seasons one through three, but in season four they were like, Hey, I got an idea of how we can make, make this sense. Or if it was the plan all along to do this. I’m really

curious which one it was.

If I had to speculate. I think that they, at the very beginning had one. Pointed in that direction, but hadn’t thought it through completely. Right. I have a feeling that Manny Koto came in as showrunner at this point and really kind of like, we need to build a bridge. If this show’s it’s brilliant. Gonna continue.

We need to build a bridge to the original series because we have inconsistencies here. Now with the fan base. I don’t know that anybody would have had. When Soval is first introduced, he’s very much the antagonist. Yes. He’s a representation of a government that is not looking at what Earth is doing as a good path.

By the end of this episode, he’s basically like, we’re gonna step back from trying to control you guys, and we’re gonna get in line behind you because you guys seem to be focused in a way that has such positive results. So it’s the Vulcan administration. At the end of this episode, they’re like, we’re dissolving this high council.

We’re gonna back away from Earth, and I think you’re seeing a new dawn of what it means to be in this. Neighborhood of systems and yeah, we of course, as fans know, okay, we know what’s coming. But in that moment it is a huge change for Soval and Soval goes through in this three story arc. If you only came to this series for these three episodes, if you hadn’t watched anything else, you would still have a sense of Soval’s story arc of starting off with this semi antagonistic.

relationship beautifully depicted in the scene with Forrester, where Forrester says, wait, are you scared of us? And there’s that nice discussion around what humans look like to a Vulcan. Mm-hmm. . And then through this, with the torturer sequence with Shran and Oh yeah. The, the evolution of Soval’s position in helping undo this regime, including his revealing of, I can do things that have been forbid.

and I’m not a Syrrannites, but I know what they are talking about and it’s not that he wants to disprove them. He’s just, there are things that we don’t know as opposed to V’Las the main administrator who is fully going full-blown dictator and it’s all about control , and you see him using Vulcan attitude about arguing from a logical perspective for terrible acts, and of course.

Mm-hmm. , this is in 2004. This is following the US invasion of Iraq where all sorts of evidence and arguments around our ethical and moral obligation to go into Iraq. at this point. All of that crap had hit the fan and everybody knew, okay, this was a boondoggle to begin with, and now we’re in this terrible quagmire.

And not to argue at all that Iraqis would’ve been better under Saddam Hussein, but our first principles in going in were fabricated. And here we have a storyline in popular media in star Trek of all places. Basically saying, here is a major race that you’ve been familiar with through all these stories, this is what they did as well.

And it’s all to create a scenario to go to war in the name of it’s logical for us to strike first in order to undermine what we think is an unstable regime, even fabricating, holding onto the Xindi weapon. It’s a remarkable story. Given what we know of the Vulcans as characters in the future of Star Trek.

But I would, I would actually say I agree with you a hundred percent on that, but there’s a, for me of like, there’s kinda, I’m looking at three parts. There’s the Kir’Shara with the captain, that whole part there’s on the enterprise with Soval and Tripp and Crew, and then there’s what’s happening in the.

Like the council and for me the weakest element is the council and it all comes down to that chewing the scenery performance by the guy that’s playing V’Las yeah. I don’t blame him

for that. I believe he directed Think that all rests with the directors. Yeah. Yeah. It’s Robert Fox he’s a good character actor.

He’s been in lots and lots of things and yes, he is just allowed to twirl mustaches left and right here. It is unfortunate. It’s a.

It’s, it undercuts everything. Cause like what you’re saying is a hundred percent true of like, it’s, it’s modeling after what happened at the time, 2004. It’s making a clear statement about that.

But because he’s so must mustache twirling and he’s so, he is like, amped up to 11 emotionally. Yeah. He’s like a, he’s, he is full on Romulan, you know what I mean? He is just completely unhinged and nobody is calling him out on it. Yeah. The only person in the council that’s calling him out is not calling him out for, dude, why you so emotional?

He’s calling him out because like, I don’t think this is right. You know? Like, yeah. Where did you, where you get that evidence. He’s being very

logical. Stein Minister Kvk, who’s trying to be the voice of reason. Right. Right. So

it’s, it’s, it’s great that he’s there as the voice of reason, somebody that’s dissenting and pushing back.

It was great to have that, to show that the council’s not unified behind this man. But at the same time, it’s kinda like he’s not acting like a Vulcan in the slightest. Yeah. And it’s like, and nobody’s looking uncomfortable. It could have been him being the only voice, but there should have been moments where, when V’Las.

Yelling or getting really worked up. Just showing those guys in the background, kind of giving each other side eye like what is going on? Yeah. Like showing them, recognizing he’s,

there were two paths. Yeah. I agree with you completely. There were two paths here for the directing and I think that, I think that at this point I don’t even put the blame on David Livingston as director because we’ve seen him so many times.

We know he is very good. Yeah, I think the network. At this point was probably stepping in and saying, it’s Friday night, we gotta get kids. If anybody’s gonna watch this show, you gotta get kids. Which means you have to kind of water down subtlety and you’ve gotta make things a little more black and white.

You’ve gotta have your villains look like villains, and your heroes have to be heroes. So I have a feeling at this point that Livingston Hands were tied. to a certain degree, one path would’ve been going the direction you’re describing, which I think would’ve been a great path to have him continue to chew the scenery.

He can be that cartoonish looking villain. Yeah. And have all the other Vulcans in the room giving each other looks like, are we really seeing what we’re seeing here? The other path would’ve been to pull back, which as a more mature viewer, I would’ve enjoyed more, which is go full subtlety, have him come across as coldly logical, and have the other Vulcan.

Maybe demonstrate a little bit more emotional response in the form of like, really, like, we’re doing this because I like Rubenstein’s performance. I don’t like V’Las. So I think if, if V’Las came across as super cold and calculating, it might have been more chilling because then you have everybody in the room kind of, well, he’s not demonstrating something that we don’t understand.

Yes, let’s continue to support him. And the argument is made that it’s the Kir’Shara, which is going to be the revelation for everybody. And this, this brings us now to the the other storyline, which is the On the Desert Sands, the Archer leading T’Pol, and T’Pau back to bring the Kir’Shara, which is going to change everybody’s minds.

I found this to be a weaker storyline for me. You mentioned that you thought that the, the high command sequences were the weakest. For me, this was the weaker, because I didn’t mind the action. I didn’t mind the fact that you see the, the Vulcan guards show up and they’re carrying that Vulcan weapon, you know, so they can do hand-to-hand combat.

Clearly showing up with phase weapons. Would’ve made more sense logically, but it wouldn’t have looked quite as Vulcan. So here we are. They missed an opportunity. Play The Russian sequences enjoyed the what?

With the, with the fighting sequences. They missed the chance of doing the NA

music. I wish they’d have an version of that song.

And the, there was a sequence where it’s, it’s a, you know, the reference to Check Ops Gun, if you see a gun appear on stage in the first act, it’s gotta go off by the third. When they’re walking through these passages and Tapo says, look out there’s a mineral in there, and watch what happens when metal gets too close to it.

And then later on, of course, we see a couple of Vulcans walk into a passage with metal weapons and they get zapped. So all of that was fine. I’m like, okay, it’s actiony adventure. It’s fine. It’s fun. Yeah. But for me, the difficulties. Were around motivation. They kept saying, let’s get the Kir’Shara to the capitol.

And I’m like, you find an original version of the Bible, let’s say you don’t say quick. Get me to Rome. Like it just didn’t jive in a way that, that I didn’t understand that they had a clear idea of what they were going to do. And Archer never revealed, oh, I know how to activate. He could have acted at any moment they were in the desert.

He could have pressed those buttons and they could have seen the scriptures and been like, okay, this is why. But I felt like they were withholding from the audience a little too much of like, wait, why are you going to the capitol of all places the most secure location? But like, so it’s a little bit hand wavy as far as like, here’s why we’re going there.

I also didn’t like archer’s. It would’ve helped if when archer’s, like I know logically. Going after T’Pol and rescuing her doesn’t make sense, but I’m human, so I’m going to do that. I don’t think that they hammered that hard enough that he was making a human decision as opposed to a Vulcan decision.

Mm-hmm. . But even having said that, I don’t think the human in him would’ve made that decision. So it was a moment where I was just like, okay, wouldn’t he understand? Like it’s more important that we get this thing to where we’re going. So I found myself thinking. They’re not sharing with us why getting it there makes sense.

They’re also now not sharing why going after T’Pol Makes sense. It all felt very worthy action storyline as opposed to Well, that’s, yeah. Yeah. Being, that’s being part of the intellectual thrust of the episode.

I, I think that’s why when I was talking about that, that storyline is one I kind of enjoyed. I was just hand waving, just ignoring that part cuz all that action stuff was just like it washed over me.

It was like, most of this doesn’t make sense. It doesn’t really matter, they just have to get to the capitol, whatever. But it was the stuff that happened kind of before that and during that, yeah. Where they were talking about the history and the, his attitudes shifting. Those conversations I thought were really kind of the golden nuggets.

But I agree with you. It’s like it was a. Weak part of the story. Yeah. And it was clearly that just therefore we need some, uh, fist to fist, hand hand action here. So let’s just have people just fight in the desert. That that does bring us to, unless there’s something more you wanna say. No, I was gonna

say probably what you’re gonna say, which is that brings us to what’s going on in space, the enterprise.

Yeah. Yes.

I, I gotta say, this is another part of the story. Sorry. I absolutely loved, again, I love seeing how at home trip feels as commander. It was so cool to see. Once again, he’s just, Super ease commanding the enterprise. It doesn’t feel like he, he’s not no longer fish outta water. He’s making decisive, decisive decisions.

And some of the shortcomings we talked about in the last episode were actually talked about in this episode, whether they actually had this debate about like, , are you doing the right thing? Like Reid and Tripp have this excellent conversation where Reid’s like you were ordered to come back to Earth.

Yes. And you’re

not. And I like the fact, Reid, is that in that moment you can come to my court, Marshall. And I like the fact that Reid in that moment is effectively being a good first officer. Challenging the captain’s decision making. Yes. And saying like, Okay, you, you’re doing these things, but here’s the argument against it, and the back and forth between the two of them is straddling that line of officer relationships and friendship.

And I think the writing does a really great job of revealing, like it’s really good, this is a legitimate debate between officers, but it’s in the language of friends. The fact that trip ends it with like, you can get a seat at my court marshal. Like that’s not what Picard would say to Riker, Picard and Riker having the same conversation would’ve been very official sounding.

It would’ve been very different. Yeah. And it would’ve yet again been a very common conversation from the original series between Kirk and. , but it wouldn’t have sounded like this. So it’s, I think the writing was very strong for this, this part of it. There’s also, it’s aal. Soval is specific in this storyline.

When he

comes into the room, when he comes into the room immediately after Reid leaves, and then he has a conversation with trip and trip’s, like, I’m not sure I’m doing the right thing. And Soval says, for what it’s worth, I think the captain would be doing the exact same thing you’re doing. And then Trip saying, that’s what I keep telling myself.

Yeah. It’s like it, I just like the fact they were showing doubt in a private scenario, not in front of the crew on the bridge. It was just, it felt very like, like you said, Picard talking number one in his ready room. Yeah. It felt very, You go trip, I can see you at some point becoming a captain yourself.

Yeah. It’s like he felt very at home. Like it’s nice to see him grown up from season one to now. And then the writing was just really strong with all these conversations that were happening. Yeah. I don’t know if you want to, I was gonna jump to. when they go and search for the Andorians. I, I really enjoyed the Soval saying, I know where to find the Andorians.

Yeah. We know we’re hiding. They, we know Graham

Soval. It’s, it’s a great episode for him. Yeah. Because he’s able to really, like, I mean, Gary Graham must have been patiently, happily, you know, doing the work that he was given during the previous three seasons. . But for these episodes in particular, he must have been very happy to have been in this position, to be given this kind of scene time because he’s really depicting a Soval who the first time we see Soval back in episode one, he’s just the Vulcan who’s like, you guys aren’t ready.

You’re losers. Yeah. And wants to shut the door on earth. Here he is now giving a very compelling and nuanced performance around, yeah, we know what the end Dorians are up to. We understand where they’ve been hiding. He’s got all these, these moments where he’s able to reveal Soval knows what he’s doing.

Soval is a smart guy. Yes. And he’s been able to rise to a high level under what is effectively despotic. , and he’s been doing it in the name of Protecting Vulcan. So he’s been a cog in a bad machine, but for good reasons, and I like that complexity for this character. And

also when they finally do get to the Nebula and Soval tells them to basically radio into the cloud and he keeps calling out like, I know you’re here.

Yeah, we know you’re here. Please answer me. We have important information to you. There’s nothing, there’s nothing that I’m saying. And trips like, uh, hey, uh, this is Trip. Uh, what’s up? And then he finally responds. I just love the fact. The, the endurance are just ignoring the Vulcans. Cause they don’t trust the Vulcan.

And then here comes a pink skin. They know . Yeah. It’s like, oh yeah. Trip. I know you.

Yeah. I trust you. Yeah, yeah. Trip. I really enjoyed the call out that happened. Yeah. Really, really funny moment. Yeah. And not played for laughs. That what, that’s what made it work. No, it was so subtle because Trip says, Hey, this is trip and command of the enterprise.

And then immediately they get the response. It’s almost like Shran is there, like, is that. Is. Yeah, it is. Okay. , so that leads us to, there’s the back and forth initially around, can we believe you? I like the scene very much between the first scene with Shran coming aboard and like, why would you do all this?

Mm-hmm. , why would you share all this and. Soval making all of his very logical arguments and statements, but it’s just not enough for Shran. There is not enough of a foundation of trust. Even though they do, they, they do refer to the fact that they’ve had months long negotiations previously. It’s just not enough, which leads Shran to abduct and then torture Soval.

What’d you think about the whole torture sequence? Okay. , I liked it. But

Shran re reaction, he’s clearly torn because they make the comments of like, there’s clearly a real, um, I wouldn’t call it a friendship, but a respect that has grown between the two of them. So Shran doesn’t wanna be doing what he’s doing.

I think they could amp that up a little bit more because there were moments where it was kind of like he went too easily into the torture. They did try to play it off as like, especially in the beginning of the torture scene. Shran, what was it? The, the Soval says, let’s just get this over with, and Shran is like, yeah, good point.

Let’s just go, let’s just amp this up really fast. Let’s fast forward as fast as we can. Cause we gotta do what we gotta do. I thought that was kinda a nice touch, but I also wanna kind of call out, I absolutely love how the Soval says torture doesn’t work, paint doesn’t work on Vulcans. And then this like diabolical torture device the Endor have come up with of like, oh no, we’re not gonna hurt.

Yeah. Work’s gonna make you feel emotions in a way that’s gonna be really uncomfortable for

you. Yeah. It’s slow vocalize you.

Yeah. Yeah. And it was like, and the look on Soval’s face of like, oh shit, just like that, that, that look that comes over him when he realizes what’s about to happen. I, it was a nice playful, kind of like, not playful, but like, it was fun to see how the Endor.

are sparring with the Vulcans, and neither one of they both are just like at each other’s throats for no really good reason. But it’s interesting to see how they’re kind of like finding each other’s weaknesses and trying to play on those weaknesses. Yeah, but for me, I think they could have amped




of Shran wanting to do this. Yeah. And it was a little too subtle for me. So there were moments where it was kind of like, uh, Shran you, you just seemed a little too glib about just like, let’s amp it up. Yeah. They could have shown like me, his crew being fine, cranking it up and then cut to him kind of like, like, Darth Vader, you know, standing, watching his son get tortured by the emperor.

Like kind of like looking back and forth of like, I don’t like how this is playing out. .

Yeah. Do you know what I mean? It’s like they could’ve played that up. Yeah. I agree with you and I, I think that there could’ve been something, I think what you’re looking for is an opportunity for Shran to have. That personal relationship in that it’s sort of like the trip read conversation you’re looking for an opportunity for Shran to have that personal relationship on display as much as the professional relationship of adversaries on the opposite sides of a very tense standoff, and the way this is written and depicted, there is no room for that personal, it is all adversarial professional relationship.

I think it would’ve been. Aided by what I kept going back to would be, what if there had been a scene immediately previous to this where Shran is reporting alongside a lieutenant with his commanding officer through. You know, an on, you know, on-screen conversation saying, and that’s what the Vulcans have, that’s what Soval has laid out as the Vulcan plan and have this superior say, I don’t believe him.

I don’t trust your judgment in this scenario because too many times you’ve been out there by yourself calling these shots on your own. I don’t like the decision making you’ve been making, so I’m gonna give you one more. Takes a all and get the truth out of him and then say directly to the lieutenant, and if Shran doesn’t do this, you have my permission to take command of the ship, put Shran in a position where he has no choice.

So he goes and does all of this and is basically torturing Saval with that reluctance, sharing that reluctance with Soval, but also doing it with an eye toward his lieutenant saying, I trust this guy. Can you please join me in trusting this? Have that tension come from a, a force behind Shran. Exactly. And what you get, that’s what’s missing.

Yeah. And what you get if you do that is you also then create that mirror image between Andoria and Vulcan. Vulcan is, Soval is the reasonable Yes. Element coming forward and saying, look, I want peace. I wanna save my people as much as you wanna save yours. And behind me is this despotic ruler. And if Shran is coming forward and saying, look, I know I can trust you.

Behind me is a different despotic ruler. You could end up with that mirroring of the two sides. What you end up with here is Shran doing something that is kind of out of character a little bit. Yeah. There’s a moment of him saying, I wish I didn’t have to do this. I wish I didn’t have to do this. And it made for me, it made those torturous sequences feel too long.

I would’ve appreciated less of the torture sequence and a little bit more of what I’ve just described of him in a position of. My lieutenant has been told to keep an eye on me, and I know that, so I have to do this performative thing for him because this guy is gonna take command of the ship if I don’t do this.

So right. That would’ve added a layer to it that I think would’ve really benefited not only the what does happen on screen, but the bigger picture of Andoria is in its own version of an awaken. as what Vulcan is gonna be going through as a result of the Kir’Shara. Yeah, agree. So one of the big elements of this is how do you get the Kir’Shara into the capitol?

They reach the precipice. Literally they’re looking off of a cliff over the, the Capitol city. And there’s this whole like, we’ll we’re, we made it this far, what do we do now? And Archer makes the little winking at the camera comment. I think I know a guy. And it turns out that it is T’Pol’s husband who helps them because of reasons.

Mm-hmm. found it very strange that he did this. I mean, like, did that stand out to you as like, wow, that really doesn’t make a whole lot of sense?

It didn’t make sense. It felt a little too convenient. Uh, like especially when he was like, I wouldn’t be a good husband if I didn’t help my wife. And by the way, yeah, you’re not my wife.

Yeah, go enjoy your life. And he walks away. It was like, well, that was awfully convenient, a yada yada, yada. They get exactly what they need and all the characters can go on their way, maybe triple getting back together with, you know, topa. It was like, it was all way too convenient. But yeah, so I But

minor nitpick.

Minor nitpick. It stands out as being a very strange set of circumstances to put on screen. I, you know, Found it very odd, would’ve felt less awkward if T’Pol had said, I know people who can get us into the city. Like that would’ve, yes. Like here she is, she’s the Vulcan, and yet again, it’s about Archer saying like, don’t worry, I have a plan.

And gets them into the capital city where they just again, hand wavy enter the capitol building right into the main chamber with the high council because, well, who could see through a robe? And really just put that hood up and Yeah, you can walk right in. Go ahead. You clearly are a Vulcan, so do whatever you want.

Yeah. They get in there and Archer dramatically activates the Kir’Shara. And it is at this point, revealed that these ancient writings of ceroc have been saved. In the form of a really dramatic laser light show for some reason. Uh, for the Pink Floyd. Yeah, exactly. It’s like, you know, just put on dark side of the moon at the exact moment that they enter the chamber and the two come into sync and you just like mellow out man.

But, Yeah, the , the whole sequence is fine. I mean, it’s like, it’s, yeah, it’s interesting to look at, it doesn’t make any sense logically like, like, like I’ve got these writings and I know these are important to save, so I’m gonna save them. In this three-dimensional circular hologram that will just continue to evolve as you’re looking at it.

Like it’s for tv. Oh, right. It’s for tv. I get it. Like hand wavy . Yeah. And it’s like they, they’ve got these things now and it is such a dramatic reveal that again, for reasons, the high councils like, aha, we need to ignore the loss. Oust him. Dissolve the council. And like start over, hit a reset button.

Literally the last three minutes of this feels like it could have been weeks worth of episodes, like the Vulcan government effectively deciding like, holy cow, we’ve been doing all sorts of stuff. That doesn’t make any sense. And here’s what our Pinnacle teacher said. in his own words. There’s so much that could have come out of this.

Obviously they weren’t making this entire series about that, so they weren’t gonna do that. And they have to have this kind of conclusion of like, better days are ahead. So I understand why they get there, but it feels very fast forward like that last three minutes, like duh, duh. And like you said, when you get to that point where, T’Pol’s husband shows up and is like, you know what?

I did it because of you, but you know what? I really don’t wanna be married to you either. So you know what? Why don’t we go our separate ways? It feels a little bit too much of a bow on top, and I understood it, but I don’t think I needed it.

Yes. Well, it was clear like they probably had a lot they wanted to do and they knew this was their last season and they knew they had to fast forward a bunch of stuff.

So that’s kinda what it felt like to me. Like, let’s wrap this up as fast as we can. Cause we still have X, Y, and Z that we need to get to before the end. Right. Is what it felt like to me. . And then of course there’s the very end of the episode, which is like, oh, V’Las is working with Romulan. Okay, there we go.

Yeah, it’s like .

Yeah. That element received a lot of debate. At the time. Reviewers thought that this episode was a return to form for star Trek, but the very, very end. Split them like 50 50. Some people saying like, oh, it hints at future things. And it kind of makes sense within the gist of Sar Trek and what they’re trying to do at this point.

That the raw Mullens are behind this. And then the others saying like, this feels like a hat on a hat. Like what is the point of having this element introduced at this, at this moment? Let me take it two ways. Let me ask you small picture, the scene in and of itself and big picture. Mm-hmm. , what it means for the series.

How do you feel about those two things? I’ll just say I didn’t like it either

way. It’s like I did not, like, it didn’t need to be tied into reunification. It didn’t have to be tied into laying out, oh, the reins are out there doing shenanigans, trying to create warrant discord so that they can, you know, take over.

They don’t want all these people getting unified cuz it’ll be a, a bigger threat to them. I didn’t want them laying all the groundwork for that. . It was unnecessary, uh, in my opinion for this. It was also like such a, like the mustache twirling, emotional vos. It was like a, it felt like a punchline to me of like, that’s why he is been twirling that mustache cuz he’s working with Romulan.

It’s like the emotional Romulan. So it’s like, it was so over the top. It’s like that was, it felt like a cheat. It’s. all about it. Just no . Yeah, just, no, I don’t, I don’t care how you wanna split the ending. I just didn’t like it. I, I thought it was too on the nose. It was too. unnecessary. It just, it, it was just like a sad trombone playing like at the very end for


I agree with you. I hit the point at the end of the episode when we see the Romulan back has turned to us and he has the telltale grid pattern. Yeah. In his, in his clothing, which is. The, uh, very easily identifiable as a Romulan, and you hear the conversation between him of loss and immediately I was like, oh God, small picture.

Not necessary for this episode. Big picture. It contradicts to a certain amount, to a certain degree, a lot of what’s to come in the original series and in next Generation, where the Romulan threat is very thoroughly developed along the lines of, Vulcans have more or less forgotten the relationship during the era of the original series.

So for this to be here in this moment really feels like an alien race. The Romulan is talking about reunify reunifying with Vulcan. and the only people to know are a tiny little fraction of a handful of loss. And whoever co-conspirators he has, like, it just doesn’t jive that when later on in the original series when we first see Romulan, it is a big reveal that Romulan and Vulcans Yep.

Look alike. It is the thrust of a, of a well-known episode in the original series. So doing this right now felt. Okay, you had me with this like, we need to build a bridge, and then they kind of blow up their own bridge right there at the end. They kind of fell flat. For me,

the better way to do it would be there’s an invisible guiding hand that they still don’t know who it is kind of a thing, like somebody was behind this, but we’re not sure who.

kind of a thing, but you couldn’t do that cause it’d be like not as obvious enough as they needed to be. They needed to let everybody know it’s Roland’s wink. So it’s like it just completely unnecessary. Yeah, they should just cut it completely.

Yeah, and it continues to be part of what I think is the conflict within season four, which is,

It is now a Friday night show, so you can see the arguments that we’ve been making about like making it more kid friendly, more action focused, but then this, mm-hmm. at the end is only gonna be picked up by adult audiences who know those connective threads. So, yep. Be for a younger viewer, where this is supposed to be an actiony sci-fi show, they’re gonna be like, Why the menace?

Like, what does this mean? This doesn’t have any bearing on anything, so it’s gonna be, it’s almost like by trying to stick themselves. in the middle path, they’re lost. So it’s a continuing mm-hmm. struggle for the show at this point, and it keeps going back to me for the entirety of this series, the exhaustion on the part of the people who are making it.

They didn’t quite know how to plant fresh seeds for themselves, where a certain audience was happy to consume whatever they made, and I count myself among them. , but mm-hmm. , the difficulty of, of the creators feeling like they were making something worthwhile. Sometimes that exhaustion kind of is on display.

So next time we’re gonna be talking about the episode Dataless. Matt, any predictions about what we’ll be talking about? Why don’t we talk about Dataless uh, dataless. Yes, exactly. That is the best plot summary I’ve ever heard. I’m gonna go to Wikipedia and I’m gonna change the summary on Wikipedia to that.

So next week you’ll be saying Dateless . Before we sign off, Matt, is there anything you wanna share about what’s coming up on your main channel?

By the time this episode’s out, I should have a new one about my. Super energy efficient, net zero energy home that I’m building an update about how that’s going and had some nail bit biting, anxiety ridden moments during, during the build,

which are explored in the video.

I look forward to checking that out. As for me, if you want to visit my website, sean Ferrell dot com, you can find out more information about my books. You can also go to your local book seller or stores like Amazon, Barnes and Noble. . Anywhere you buy your books, you should be able to find mine, and that includes now available for pre-order.

My next book, which is a middle grade novel, it’s the beginning of a series, it’s called The Sinister Secrets of Singe, and it is about a young boy who builds robots and goes on adventures with a bunch of pirates. So I hope you’ll wanna check that out and share that with kids in your life. If you’d like to support the show, please consider reviewing us on Apple, Google, Spotify, wherever it was.

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just any anime. It’s my hero academia, which was recommended to us. By some of our viewers.

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