85: Observer Effect – Star Trek Enterprise Season 4, Episode 11

Matt and Sean talk about standing back and letting terrible things happen. Star Trek at its finest tackles a moral divide within a tense and interesting story. Does this one succeed? 

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In today’s episode of Trek in Time, we’re gonna be talking about when to stand back and when to jump in. That’s right. We’re talking about enterprise season four, episode 11, the Observer. In fact, welcome to Trek in Time, where we’re watching every episode of Star Trek in chronological order, and we’re putting into context at the time of original broadcasting.

So currently we’re talking about enterprise and we’re talking about 2005. And who are we? Well, I’m Sean Ferrell. I’m a writer. I’ve written some sci-fi. I’ve written some stuff for kids and with me as my brother Matt, he is the the Matt Ferrell of Undecided with Matt Ferrell, which takes a look at emerging tech and its impact on our lives.

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

It’s good weekend. How about yourself?

I’m doing all right. I’m looking forward to this conversation we’re about to have, but before we get into talking about this episode, we have some comments from a previous one. Matt, what do you have for us?

Yeah, from episode 84, Daedalus we had one from Technophile who said, might have to start having 90 minute podcasts and cover three episodes at a time.

which AJ Chan responded, or maybe two episodes at a time. And the reason I put these in, Sean was. I like having public discussions with you before I’ve even talked to you about what we’re about to talk about . Um, let me just spring it on you, , but I had just, the reason I’ve put these in here was I had literally just the other day said this to my wife as we were watching these, if there’s episodes that are clearly like, Two parters or three Parters, maybe we start watching those as a group and doing as a single episode and that would help us to accelerate the pace

we’re getting through the shot.

There is a good case for that and yeah, interesting to bring that up. Considering we’re on the verge of a leaving this serial , we’re on the verge of a multi story art coming up after this episode, so it is something for us to think about. The only reason I have pushback against that is because there are series where that would become impossible.

Oh yeah. You like the newest series. We wouldn’t be able to do that because it’s this one continuous storyline. Yeah, but like for, like, I’m thinking more of the, the ones like the original series or next generation,

like when there. The test world, part one

and two. Yeah, we do. We do those two together as instead of separate.

It’s like we could, there’s like little pockets where we could do that and it might work and make sense. Uh, but yeah, we wouldn’t be able to do it for every show. Yeah, because it would be one episode for an entire

series . Yeah. Now we’re gonna talk about all of discovery.

The other comments on the same episode one was from PaleGhost69 who said, whoa, just realized how much data storage the transporter buffers have.

They hold the placement of trillions of particles where the momentum and direction that’s just for one person. Now think six people at once, like next generation. Now go beyond that to holding the transporter trace of everyone that has ever used the transporter room that has to be thousands of terabytes, if not millions, and then, I hope didn’t push your name.

I respondent to PaleGhost69 saying this is so key when thinking about the science of Trek transporters and holodeck kind of break everything. So you need to leave them out when considering the plot of any episode when they aren’t integral to the plot. And then it’s difficult for the writers to be consistent within that context.

Yep. And I like the, this discussion cuz it’s. There’s an element of science fiction that becomes a fantasy. Yeah. Like time travel is fantasy, uh, transporters really is fantasy at this point. And you have to kind of like disconnect your logic Brain . Yeah. And put it the side, because that, that was that famous quote about like, uh, science that’s so advanced feels like magic.

It’s like, that’s kind


what this is. It’s magical thinking and you kind of have

to disconnect from it a little bit. It’s, it’s very true. And it is typically we, we are accustomed to seeing that line when we see something on the scale of like, um, I’m thinking of a show like Foundation, something like that.

Yeah. Where we’re seeing levels of technology that break so many laws that we understand, uh, about the physical world and we kind of take it for granted that it’s a, a fantasy element, but it still feels. Rooted in a science where as star Trek feels so rooted in a science, that when you start to speculate about, well, what element of this is actually doable?

Mm-hmm. , you kind of trip over that. Yeah. And having said that, the idea of storage buffers being as large as PaleGhost just pointed out, I do believe that we will get there. There will be storage medium that gets that big, and do I think that’ll be my lifetime? No. But I do believe the science of that is doable.

Um, yeah. So it, but it does run right into that layer of believability and mm-hmm. , as you mentioned, the, our ability as a viewer to say, well, I’m gonna, know when I just have to let go, and that’s part of the fun of Star Trek, is that it’s very good at helping us let go because when it’s well written and it’s well done, it gets to the heart of the story, which is about the hearts of the characters more than, well, let’s figure out the science here.

Right. Having said that, we’re gonna be talking about an episode that has a lot of sciencey elements to it that I absolutely loved. Mm-hmm. . Matt, to get into this episode, let’s talk a little bit about the observer effect, and that sound in the background is of course, the Read. Alert, which means it’s time for Matt to tackle the Wikipedia description.

Matt, it’s a short one this week, I don’t think you’ll have much trouble. Okay.

Set. In the 22nd century, the series follows the adventures of the first Starfleet, Starship Enterprise Registration, N X O. This episode sees alien entities test the enterprise crew by observing their reactions to a deadly Silicone based infection.

Actual first contact with these aliens, the Organians Organians. Yep. Can’t remember how they pronounce it.


uh, would occur about a century later during the events of the original series Star Trek episode, errand of mercy

that’s right. It’s Star Trek Enterprise, episode number 11 from season four, directed by Mike Vejar.

We’ve seen him multiple times, written by Judith Reeve Stevens, and Garfield Reeve Stevens. We’ve seen them multiple times. The original air date was January 21st, 2005. And what was the world like at that time? Well, last week I told everybody that we were done saying over and over. That the song over and over was the song that Matt was listening to over and over , but I was wrong.

It had one more week in it. It just squeaked in Matt. And yes, over and over Nelly featuring Tim McGraw was the number one song. And this is legitimately for the last time. So you’ll hear me say over and over, over and over and in the movies. Coach Carter was the number one movie, 24 million. Quick tell me what Coach Carter’s plot was about.

I have no,

I don’t. The 2005 American biographical teen sports drama film starring Samuel L. Jackson, directed by Thomas Carter. No relation. The film is based on the true story of Richmond High School’s basketball coach Ken Carter, who made headlines in 1999 for suspending his undefeated high school basketball team.

Due to poor academic results, I feel like

I slipped into an alternate reality. Sean, I do not remember this movie

at. My God, I, I know what you’re speaking of. I felt the same way as I looked at the poster and I was just like, oh, yeah, but no recollection of it until it suddenly was in front of my face. And on television, how was Enterprise doing against the competition?

As we’ve mentioned, every time we talk about this show in season four, it had moved to Friday nights, and here is the strange holding pattern for enterprise where it’s viewership stays right around 3 million. Doesn’t gain, doesn’t lose. This is a low point for the show this week, 2.8 million people, so it’s a little bit lower than its average, and it was up against shows like eight Simple Rules and Complete Savages on abc, Joan of Arcadia on CBSs the Bernie Mac show.

In a double billing on Phlox, NBC’s Dateline was getting 11 million viewers. And on the wb, what I like about you and grinded for life, we’re both getting either the same or a little bit more than enterprise, so not a good sign. Mm-hmm. and in the news, some news stories. Right around this time on January 20th, George W.

Bush was re inaugurated. For his second term as President of the United States, the most intense solar particle event in recorded history had been observed as particles from the sun exploded from the surface. In just a couple of days from the broadcasting date Johnny Carson would pass, and in a bit of sad news, the Israeli Palestinian conflict was reach.

Powder Keg Heights. The Palestinian authority had redeployed paramilitary police in Gaza for the first time since the outbreak of the Infa and Hamas published a document in which it recognized the 1967 borders. tensions there would remain high. So for this episode, we start off with what looks like a casual game of chess.

It’s anything but casual as we see quickly that Lieutenant Reed and Ensign Mayweather are not just playing chess, but they’re playing it really, really well, and they’re playing it ahead of their plays. They move a couple of pieces, and then Mayweather looks at the board and says, you’re gonna beat me in eight.

Through their conversation, it becomes obvious rather quickly. This is not Reed. Yeah, and this is not Mayweather. These are two aliens that have taken over these individuals and not only are using them as hosts, but can simultaneously control and direct, but also simply observe based on who these individuals are.

So the alien inhabiting Reed refers to, well, I’m gonna keep beating you because I’m the best chess player. ship. It’s not that he in of himself has just decided to beat Mayweather. It’s almost like they are playing as Mayweather and Reed. Mm-hmm. . But at the same time, Mayweather is able to calculate all the various permutations of all possible moves.

And they’re talking about it as exponential numbers. So it’s rather this immediately, it feels very sci-fi. I was

gonna say this, this cold open for the show is probably one of my favorite cold opens they’ve ever had. Yeah. It was to me pitch freaking perfect. It looks like a mundane scene and within like five seconds, you know, something’s off like immediately.

Cuz one of them does this calcula crazy calculation of math. Yeah. Just like that. And it’s like, whoa. No. Yeah. Mayweather is not some kind of crazy savant. It’s like something’s off. Yeah. And as the conversation keeps going, it very quickly unravel. And then one of them saying like, somebody always dies.

Yeah. Is one of the last things they say. It’s like, as a viewer, I’m like, oh snap. This is awesome. Yeah. It’s like I was just like in it. It was so well done.

Right up until Mayweather gives the possible number of. Of the possible number of moves in any given game. Right up until that point, it just seems like two friends like playing chess and Mayweather’s ability to look down and say, you’re gonna beat me in eight moves, seems within the realm of possibilities.

It does seem within like, okay, Mayweather might be able to say like, oh, I think in eight moves he’s gonna get me. But the moment he spits out that number, it’s like, this is not May. And this is not reason. There’s also

a, there’s also a very subtle difference in their performances. Yes. Which I was very impressed by.

Yes. It was. The, the tone of their voice was, they had shifted a little softer, maybe a little higher. Something. There was something about the way they were presenting themselves that felt off Yeah. Even before they said anything. So it’s like, it’s. The acting here was also helping to sell this cold


I’m glad you brought that up because I wanted to, I wanted to say, I think that the director, Mike Vi Jar, possibly was able to work with all of the actors in this, and this is a bottle episode. Yeah. And when we talk about bottle episodes, we are of course talking about an episode where in order to limit costs, they.

Only existing sets and they only use regular actors. It’s a way of cutting down on costs. And what we’re looking at here is this is a second bottle episode. The previous episode was also a bottle episode, the Dataless effect, where they did have some guest stars in that one, but it all took place on the ship.

And we will see in our next episode the reason why we’re coming up into a more, a more special effect heavy episode. Coming up. So by saving costs here, they’re able to use it there. Very often battle bottle episodes are weaker in comparison. Sometimes it feels like you become aware. That’s fun of the kind of claustrophobic attitude of like, well, this is so limited in this.

The story doesn’t seem to have much in the sense of, of, of an expanded universe around it. This one does. A bottle episode just about as well as you can do a bottle episode. It was really, it feels right out of the gate there. There’s two things going on in this one. I think the directing and the acting are top, top notch.

This is also one of those rare cases for enterprise where they’re hearkening back to the original series and the way they do. We’re already talking about them as the Organians that’s revealed at the very end. I think there’s a reason why it’s revealed at the end, both storytelling wise and fandom wise.

I think there are reasons why they, why they do that, but the fact that this is referencing back to the original series works in this case, I’ve had difficulties in previous episodes where there’s a little too much fan service. Mm-hmm. like, oh, here come the fgi. And nobody on the ship ever really sees a fgi or identifies them as Frei so that we, the viewer, know more than the people on the ship.

And it’s just like, yeah, I, I don’t necessarily like that. I don’t think it’s necessary, and I don’t think it’s. Serving the role that they think it does very often when it happens, but this is the exception because it’s so well done. It is referencing back to the original series, it’s referencing back to a wider Trek universe in a way that makes perfect sense.

These aliens, the Organians, are using a terrible scenario in order to observe various alien races to determine which one of them are worth creating first contact with. . It’s interesting that they’re talking about it being a measure of reasonableness and rationality. When they’re talking about space faring aliens, they’re not looking at, oh, they’ve built warp drives.

They travel in space. They left their home planet. None of that is enough. It has to be, oh, they’ve demonstrated a level of reasonable and rational thinking. Which means that they are on the path to, it’s not about warp drive, it’s about in Corporality. So it’s a whole other level of prime directive. And so we’re seeing a terrible scenario being used as the measure of rationality, which is watching people get sick and seeing how they respond.

It is the equivalent of dropping nail polish into a rabbit’s. This is the kind of testing that they’re doing, and yeah, it is as we are watching them do this, the cold nature of the performances, the detached nature of the performances is consistent. As these entities move from crew member to crew member, and I think that consistency speaks of the director’s involvement in getting everybody.

Yeah, I agree on that kind of passive stance of, I’m really just kind of curious like what’s happened to you as you suffer? How does that feel? It’s this and it’s done with a comedic touch, which Yes, does a nice job of offsetting the torturous element of what they’re really. , did you find that that balance worked for you?

Yeah. No.

The, the hu it’s very dark humor. Yeah. Um, and it works extremely well. It feels a little bit like a twilight zone episode. A little bit. Yes. What the hell is happening here? It’s frightening and funny at the same time. And I, I do like that. You’re talking about, when you brought up the bottle episodes for me, one of my favorite episodes of Star Trek of all time, any series is the measure of a man from the next generation where data is put on trial.

For, does he have sentience? Is he a living creature? Does he deserve the same rights as other humans? And Picard acts as his his advocate. It’s one of my favorite episodes. That’s about all episode. And like to me, that is like one of the best. Episodes period, and it happens to be a bottle episode. I don’t put this one on that level, but this one is so well executed.

Mm-hmm. , it is one of my favorite episodes of Enterprise hands down and part of that is the, like you just mentioned, how Mike Fija with the directing and the writing, the two Organians Organians. They were clear. They had clear personalities. Yeah. Like there was the one that is very rigid. He’s been doing this forever.

You know, we’ve been doing this for 10,000 years. There are protocols we’re supposed to follow. He’s by the book. And then you’ve got the new guy and that’s coming up going. This seems screwy, man. Yeah. What are we doing? We’re like watching what is going on and he keeps questioning things and over the course of the episode, he gets to the point where he’s like, enough already.

Yeah. And it was great to see that happen throughout the entire thing. And it was very, no matter whose body it was, whether it was the captain or T’Pol or ReedMayweather or the doctor, whoever it was, that always was crystal clear in the performance. You knew which was which. Yeah. You knew who was. and because these two characters, these two aliens were so divergent in their viewpoints, it made it, it was very, what I’m trying to get at is it’s very clever writing.

Yes. Because they did that to make it as contrasty as possible. So you never confused the two. Yes. And it was so well executed. And the, the moments like where the doctor and T’Pol, like when it was in the chamber was. and, uh,

Oshi. Yeah, oshi.

And they were having this kind of conversation to each other. And then suddenly they turn, and in the window is the doctor super creepy, just standing there, creepy watching them, and they’re like, whoa, what, what’s going on here?

And then they start asking them really odd questions of like, so how do you feel? Yeah. Like, really kinda weird questions. It was funny. Yeah. Like you laugh out loud because it’s so awkward and it does a great job of creating. Kind of a little bit of a horror tension and then breaking it with that humor.

Yeah. So I, for me personally, I thought the writing in this episode even had note in as I was watching it of the writing could not have been better in this episode. It was so

well done. I completely agree. It’s, it’s a fine line where it keeps you grounded in Trek as Trek because it has those like horror.

Humor. Yeah. Like it’s that. Yeah. It goes back and forth between those two. So it keeps you centered in track. You never feel like you’re drifting too far one way or another. This episode you mentioned Twilight zone, I thought this was a perfect mashup between Andromeda Strain and the Outer Limits where Drama to Strain.

Yeah. It’s just, it’s just a perfect marriage to those, and they’ve talked about the Andromeda strain, and that’s the other side of this episode that I wanted to talk about. Right. This is where I mentioned the sciencey aspects of this. That really got me the idea that it’s a silicone lifeform infection, I thought was fascinating.

This is, and they refer to the Andromeda strain, which is the potential world-changing outbreak of a disease from a lab, and the attempts by the scientist within to understand what is causing the outbreak and what might happen. and how to stop it, and it’s a great hard sci-fi movie written by Michael Kreton and it ages beautifully considering.

Yeah, it does. It is like made 50 years ago. Feels like it’s about the pandemic. It just Yeah, does absolutely like it. It is very, very contemporary, so I strongly encourage anybody who hasn’t checked it out to check it out this episode. References the movie, almost like a little wink at the audience. Like, see what we’re doing here because it’s about, mm-hmm.

the containment of this disease. I loved, this is, The best use of Hoshi since the first season, and I’m like, angry Sean, I’m

angry, had such a good character. They had such

a, they had a backstory for this character that they never revealed until now. Season four, they reveal Hoshi had previously been kicked out of Starlee because of having broken the arm of a superior because she had a floating poker game going because she had read the rules and the rules prohibit.

Gambling while on duty. So she created a game which would float and be only off duty time. And when she was caught and broke the arm of the superior, she ended up getting kicked out. But she was saved by the fact that Starfleet didn’t have enough translators and she is a genius at it. So she got back in and that’s how she ended up on enterprise.

That backstory had been sitting on somebody’s shelf for four years, and we’d never seen it until this moment. Like Sean?

Like Sean, my favorite part about all the, like, it wasn’t like one sequence where she dropped all that. Yeah. They kept going back to them in the decon chamber multiple times. Each time there were.

Revealing another layer of you Hoshi. Another layer. Another layer. And it was like I was falling in love with her as a character the further, and they got, and they were like, why were they holding onto this for so long? Yeah, this was amazing. And on top of which, at the end of the sequence where, you know, like of the previous season, Where they’re trying to disarm the bomb and they have to get her on board because she is not only good at language, she’s good at computers and she can crack codes.

Yes. They brought that up again in this, they brought it this one. Yeah. And I love the fact like she busts out of the room with no problem. Yeah. And she’s just, they can’t, she’s like the board as like their, she’s going through the ship. They have no way to stop her because she keeps cracking every code that they’re throwing in front of her, it’s secret.

They have to cut the power. Yeah. And they even make a joke about, of like, well apparent. Yoshi can break through all of her codes. Yeah. So, uh, I don’t know what we’re gonna do here. We gotta knock her out because we can’t keep her awake because she’s dangerous. I just, I just love the fact that she’s this kind of like wild cannon of a character that they never used.

It was, yeah. Such a waste. Why did they not use her more effectively throughout the series? Because in this one episode, they created somebody I wanna know more about.

Yeah. I think there was, A real dilemma in the writing room for the first three years with, yeah, they had experience with creating very sophisticated characters because at this point, this is post Voyager DS nine star, Trek, next generation, there are people in those writing rooms, producers involved in the show.

They know how to construct a character from top to bottom with a lot of unseen backstory so that they can mine it. And I think that with a character like this, , the details of what she had done may not have ever been in conceived until this episode was written, but enough information, enough framework had been put in place to allow for this.

Yeah. And they did it with, with everybody on the show, and unfortunately they seemed to have mined from those backstories a little bit initially, but never got. Deep into it in effective ways. We’ve seen Hoshi before on her own in the story where she’s on the planet with the Yep. Telepath, where the alien is creating this artificial reality around her in an attempt to basically a beauty and the beast story of like, stay with me, remain with me so that we can.

Be happy together. It fell flat because it was about like his story. It wasn’t about hers. It’s not mining her. So every time we’ve seen her on screen, we’ve seen her in reaction to what’s going on right in front of them, or we’ve seen her in response to other people’s stories. Here we just see, and it’s beautifully woven in.

This isn’t about. No, it is just information provided within the context of the story. We keep going back and we’re not only finding out information about her, but we’re finding out about Tripp as well. But Tripp is so much more familiar to us. His revelations don’t strike me as being all that new trip reveals, oh, when I was a kid, I took all the screws out of the dining room table right before a big holiday.

It’s a funny anecdote, but it doesn’t tell us anything about Tripp that we didn’t already know. We’ve already known he has this affinity for engineering. We already know who he is, but to get this information from her and then to see her in her fever, dream speaking, every conceivable language, getting up and cracking the code and trip’s, comment the, the humor, again, the dark humor of this.

Everybody knows if they get out of de. , they are going to came over. They are going to infect the ship. So the fact that she’s speaking in Klingon and hitting the buttons, and he’s like, you’re not gonna crack the coat of that door, boop. And then she’s out and he’s just kind of like too tired to stand up.

Yeah. It’s a beautiful moment of tension of like, He’s in hot pursuit, but it’s two people with such high fevers, they can barely function. She’s staggering around with any idea where she is, and he in hot pursuit, takes a good two minutes to get to her. He knows he has to stop her, but he can’t. He can’t do it.

That level of use of the two characters is fantastic. It’s terrific.

Also the fact that Tripp is kind of our surrogate in those moments because he’s shocked at the information that’s being revealed. And I love when she says, I got kicked out and there’s this long pause cuz she turns and she’s doing something beautiful line.

Well, you can’t stop there. Yeah. it’s like beautiful line. He’s just like, no, please. It’s like, it’s like the fact that her colleagues don’t even know some of these in intimate moments of her past. Yeah. Because it seems like she’s hiding it. . But now because she’s so sick and they might die, she’s kind of willing to un like reveal some of this to somebody cuz she, there’s the fear of death.

Yeah. So it’s like, it makes sense why she’s talking about it now and hasn’t talked about it before. Like everything about the writing and the explanations of why this stuff is happening now and didn’t happen before. It’s like I cannot applaud the writing this episode Yeah. Anymore than I possibly can.

And we see the Organians having their. Growing schism between the two of them, the, the differing viewpoints and the idea that like, we need to stand back. I, this is another element of the fan service callbacks that I think works beautifully as opposed to other episodes where maybe it feels a little too, like you don’t need to keep giving, you don’t need to keep giving me sweetss.

You need to give me something as a little meatier. The references in this one feel like the meteor version of that, where they refer to, well, remember what happened when the Klingons were here. Remember when the Kardashians were here, they’re referring to other species being at this planet, and the problems that they incorporated were the same, but the responses were wildly different.

The Klingons blew up their own ship. The Kardashians kill. They’re infected members. So it was a variety of responses from the different species in the sector. Some of whom the enterprise crew would know of, others that they wouldn’t. But we as the fans know them, we know the personalities involved in those species, and we understand the references we get, how it’s speaking of the larger universe.

It is not there. reasons. It’s there because these aliens are revealing something about themselves, that they’re willing to let people die again and again and again in order to simply test for rationality. And finally, it reaches ahead when we have the debate with the captain, where the two of them inhabit the dead bodies at the end.

Mm-hmm. . Hoshi and Tripp pass from the infection. The doctor has figured out a solution to cure the ailment, but the one alien that is the one organian, that is the older of the two, the more experience of the two says, even though he’s solved it, only 2% actually get it in time and the treatment fails and hoshi dies before she goes under the treatment and then trip dies after and during.

Attempt to save the two of them. The captain has to expose himself to the disease so that they can actually conduct the medical experiment. So he is now hours away from passing, and then the two Organians inhabit the bodies of the dead crewmen and reveal themselves as present on the ship. And they have a philosophical debate.

This feels so much like star Trek. Absolutely stunning. There’s a moment where Archer starts to sound a little Kirk like in. Yep. You’ve forgotten what it means to have compassion, to have empathy, and if this is what it means to be a higher life form, you can keep it. And it’s a beautiful moment. It’s a beautiful speech.

And through the episode, theses have revealed the fact that they can not only inhabit, but they can alter memory. They make a passing comment about altering memory being a trivial. It’s, it’s a very funny, offhand, like, eh, it’s no big deal to alter memory.

Well, on on, on that point, can I just make one comment?

I had a note for myself. Like there was a point the writing felt like it was one step ahead of me because every time I had a thought of like, well, why is that? Oh, like, like almost immediately after I would have that question in my head, they would answer it. Yeah. And one of them was, wait, if they’re jumping around like this, aren’t people having like missing time?

And then literally 60, I wrote that comment down of like, how would the co the, the, the, how would they not suffer loss of time? And then literally 60 seconds later, one of them made the offhand comment of like, oh, we can manipulate memory. It’s not a big deal. And I was like, okay, glad they answered that.

Yeah. And they answered it like literally right after I had that question. Yeah. So it’s like, I love that they were one step ahead of the, of an audience. to keep me on my toes. And I was thinking and I thought, oh, maybe I thought just outthought the episode. Oh no I didn’t. They thought of that too. So it was like, I just love that.

Yeah. That there was one step ahead of me and

I lo and I love how in that moment Archer’s anger. Yeah. Steps up a notch. When he says, when he realizes You’re gonna alter my memory right now, aren’t you? Like you’re gonna take this away from. and I just will have lost two crewmen, like that’s all I’ll know.

And he’s upset about that as well. It takes him up. One more step. The final conclusion of this being that these aliens, now, the younger, less experienced one, does sway the moment and decides like, no, we’re not doing this anymore. This is off limits. We can’t cross this line anymore, and. Heals the two crewmen, brings them back from the dead, and the crew is then left with an extreme medical mystery, which is how do these two people survive this thing?

They are free of the disease. The doctor cannot figure out how, and ultimately the conclusion of this, as far as the enterprise crew is concerned, is they leave a. on the planet, warning others away from this disease that is, that is here. And we see these two aliens talking to one another and they’ve now had a bit of a role reversal.

The less experienced alien is saying, well, We will find new ways of studying these people. W I have a feeling that we’re gonna have plenty of opportunities in the future to meet them again. And the more experienced one says, well, based on what we’ve seen here, we better hurry up cuz we may only have 5,000 years before we have our first contact situation with them.

Yeah, it’s a nice little offhand reference. You know, him thinking that it’s 5,000 years away. as a fan, the moment they refer to themselves as Organians, we know at the end of the episode they, they drop, we are Organians and we know that that is a species from the original series. There is an episode that focuses on them as the, not the, the antagonist, but a huge element of an episode in the antagonism between the Federation and Klingons.

So there. The upcoming storyline that we know takes place a hundred years from now will involve Kirk, obviously in first contact situation with the Organians. How did you feel about the reveal of them as Organians? Because I know what I thought about it, but I’m curious what you thought. Uh, for me, I,

my memory of that episode is very weak.

I remember. and as soon as they dropped the name, I was like, oh, okay. But for me it was one of, I could have done without that, it wasn’t necessary. They could have just left that out and it would’ve been, the episode wouldn’t be weaker or stronger without that information. Um, but the way it was revealed didn’t feel like it undercut anything.

So I didn’t feel like it was like when we’ve talked about the fandom and previous episodes where it’s kinda like an eye rolling. Oh really? It’s like I did not have that reaction at. Uh, but I had to go look up and refresh my memory on that episode to what the details were. Mm-hmm. , but at the same time it was like, eh, I kinda like, just kind of washed over me.


about you? I thought there was, there were two reasons as to why they gave a name to who they were. Mm-hmm. , the first, I think from a storytelling perspective, I think they wanted to leave the audience without a hanging thread. I think they wanted right there to be a little bit of like, Yeah, it connects to the larger Trek universe.

This is part of the showrunners CODOs attempt. We’ve talked about this now practically every episode in season four, him saying, let’s bridge this show with the original series. Let’s connect those dots for the audience. So this is very clearly. That kind of moment. Mm-hmm. . I think the second reason is, if you don’t name it, I think fandom would have eaten itself alive, trying to figure out who they were.

And I think it could have been Q, it could have been any other. There are other omniscient, omnipotent, alien species that are in. Various versions of Trek, other aliens that have the ability to mind hop, body hop, and I think that they were trying to put a period at the end of the sentence to keep the fandom from speculating and investing the story with all those other extraneous things.

I kept as I was watching it until the reveal, I had forgotten who they were. And as I was watching at this time, I kept going back to, are they playing with Q here? Is this what they’re heading toward? Is are we going to get a reveal that is going to be, there’s part of the continuum. And I found myself happily relieved when they revealed, yeah, over the Organians.

And I was just like, aha, that’s great. It was like I ended off with a, that’s a great end. To this set of aliens and who they are. Mm-hmm. . So for me it worked. It worked beautifully. There’s one last thing that I wanted to throw out for us to talk about very briefly. The topal of it all . This episode, like the previous one and like up a coming ones still deals with the tiny little echo of what’s going on between T’Pol and.

and Yep. I really, I really liked what they did with that. Here there’s a very subtle evolution to Jolene V’Las Lock’s portrayal. Mm-hmm. up to Paul this season. I think that there were a lot of very conscious choices in season three, showing her getting more emotional, holding onto things with less of a grip, and now she’s swinging the other direction and she is seeming more serene than she ever.

as a volcan in the series. It is much more evocative of what we are familiar with from the original series than it is from season one or season two. I think that the references in the previous episodes that we’ve just talked about recently about the discovery of the teachings of Ceroc, the idea that the Vulcan mindset has actually.

Manipulated and distorted for several centuries, and the new discovery of the Kir’Shara is leading to an evolution of Vulcan philosophies. It’s an awakening. She is going through that on the ship. She has been reading it, and I think that it is incorporating a change in her. But in this episode, they refer to the fact that trip is exposed.

Trip is dying. Trip is in decom. And there is one brief little moment where Archer is talking to T’Pol after his exposure and he says, you know, you’re in charge now. And she very calmly like without any kind of emotional response as I understand, and then he goes on to lay out, don’t let them take the ship from you.

You need to be captain. , you need to do what you can to keep that command. And she says she understands. Again, no emotional response. And then she asks if Trip wakes up, and he says, I’ll let you know. And she says it without an emotional response. She says it without much. There are tears just barely at the edges of her eyes, but it is a performance of her e.

In Vulcan mindset that I thought was absolutely beautiful. Is no more than a minute of the episode, but stood out to me as being like, this is well done. This is great. It, it’s part

of the beauty of when you have time to work on characters in a television show like this. You only need shorthand moments like that to have a huge impact.

I, I, it hit me too. I noticed it clearly that she was very detached. More than we’ve seen her in a long time on the show, and it’s clearly tied to her reawakening of her Vulcan from the Kir’Shara Kir’Shara and what came out in previous episodes. It’s, I really enjoyed it. Mm-hmm. . And one thing I do wanna also come kind of build on that, I felt a similar thing for flocks because there are times where in previous episodes, like when, um, Brent Spiner had his guest appearance and he made a comment of, Oh, Fox’s reputation rivals my own.

Yeah. Like little things like that where we know that Dr Phlox is like probably one of the best doctors out there, and he’s very well regarded. This episode had that for me, like the fact that there were many moments in the series where, in the show where the Organians were saying things like, wow, only 50 something percent of people get to this point.

Oh wow. Only 37% of people get to this point. Yeah, only 2%. And it was like in most of these moments where after like a decision, the captain. Or after something Phlox had done. Yeah. And so it was like, it shows that he, they really are at the, the cream of the crop. Yeah. And it was just a, a subtle, subtle, little moments like that.

As a fan, you’re like, oh yeah, that’s my Phlox. Yeah. Yeah. More Dr. Phlox, please. There was even a

moment I enjoyed that. The cherry on top of that was when flocks discovers the presence of the Organians, and he has evidence and his evidence, he presents it to the captain. and to Paul and it’s, it’s the Organians not realizing it’s the Organians and their response is to each other.

We didn’t know that you had the ability to do this. It must be something dbu. So he has done something that nobody else has actually been able to do, which is he identifies that there’s an alien presence there. He’s able to do brain scans and he, and he identifies the alien presence. That goes right in line with what you’ve just described.

Like they keep building a, a mountain peak of more and more, uh, refined thinking. And at the peak of it is Flox who Yeah. Archer doesn’t discover them. They reveal themselves to Archer. Flox is the only one who’s just like, Hey, wait a minute, you guys. Yeah. You don’t belong here. Yeah. . Yeah. So hats off to Dr Phlox.

So all in all, it sounds like Matt and I are in agreement. This is a top notch episode. I really, really liked this one. I really loved it, and at the time it was reviewed with very mixed responses. I, I think this is one of those episodes that Age as well, like a fine wine. It, this stands out to me as one of the best of the series that we’ve watched, and I can say that without hesitation given.

We’re here almost at the halfway point of season four, the final season of this show, and I’m comparing it. Back to all the ones we’ve seen, and there have been many that I really, really thoroughly enjoyed. There have been many that we’ve debated about how the episodes could have been fixed. This one, I think just top to bottom just stood out as really, really strong.

I agree. And next week we’re gonna be talking about babble one, but before we sign off, Matt, is there anything you’d like to talk to our listeners about? What do you have coming up on your main channel? Well, at this point,

the video that just released this week is, A, a fatal, what I’m calling the fatal flaw of a solar, of solar panels and that we need to fix it and what can and is being done to try to address that problem.

It’s a, it’s an interesting exploration that we kind of stumbled upon. We were planning to do it one kind of video about what’s happening in solar panel technology this year and next year, and we kind of peeled the onion and discovered something that we were like, oh wow, this is even more interesting.

So we made a video about, This fatal

flaw, let me guess, fatal. The fatal flaw is that they don’t work at night. Oh, Sean, you figured it out. Oh, and the solution, one giant mirror. That’s right. It’ll be daytime all the time here on Earth. As for me, you can check out my website. You can go sean Ferrell dot com or you can go to your local book, Stu, your local bookstore.

Or Amazon, Barnes and Noble, target, wherever you buy your books, you can look for my books there. And if you’d like to support the show, please consider reviewing us on Apple, Spotify, Google, wherever it was. You found this. Go back there. Leave a review. Don’t forget to subscribe. You can also leave a review and subscribe on YouTube.

And if you’d like to directly support us, you can go to Trek in Time dot show. Click on the Become a Supporter button, throw some coins at our heads. The bruises will heal, and more importantly, you’ll be signed up as an ensen, which means you will start getting our spinoff Show out of Time. Out Of Time is a supporter only program where we talk about anything that doesn’t fit within the confines of this program.

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