89: Affliction and Divergence – Star Trek Enterprise Season 4, Episode 15 and 16

Matt and Sean talk about why original Star Trek Klingons have fewer ridges than a Ruffles potato chip. Was this retcon necessary? 

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In this episode of Trek in Time, we’re gonna talk about how the beat goes cling on. That’s right. We’re talking about enterprise season four, episodes 15 and 16. What? And divergence. That’s right. Folks, we’re taking your suggestion. I forget which one of you brilliant listeners made this suggestion. Maybe it was all of you.

Maybe Matt and I are the only dullards in the room. It’s,

we have the smartest, we have the smartest listeners of any

podcast listener out there. That’s right. We absolutely, it’s right because somebody or somebody’s made suggestions. Yeah. Along the lines of, Hey, when you have a multi-part story, maybe talk about it all at once.

Haha. And here we are with episodes in and 16 of season four of Enterprise, the episodes being affliction and divergence. A two-parter focusing on the Klingons. Welcome everybody to Trek in Time, where as usual, we’re watching every episode of Star Trek in chronological order and placing it in its context in history.

So currently we’re talking about enterprise because we’re still in early days and we’re talking as a result about 2005, because that’s when the show originally broadcast. And who are we? Well, I’m Sean Ferrell. I’m a published author. I write some sci-fi. I write some stuff for kids. And with me is my brother Matt.

He’s the guru behind Undecided with Matt Ferrell, which takes a look at emerging tech. It’s impact on our lives. Matt, how are you doing today? I’m doing well.

We actually took a short break, which most people won’t even be aware that we did . But Sean went on a vacation, which I’m sure

you really liked. . Yes, I did.

Recharge was a quick week, weekend getaway, basically to a warm climate where I don’t know if it’s visible on the video. . But if you compare this to the last episode, this might look a little pinker or tanner. I’m Irish pink skin. I don’t really tan. I just go pink. Pink skin. Pink skin. That’s me living up to that Andorian insult, basically . Um, but Matt, I know you, we like to share comments from previous episodes. Why don’t we jump into the comments? Well, from the

last episode, the a r we have one from PaleGhost 69, who said, would you say this episode has more or less holes than a pack of Andorian

ice bores? That should be a line in the show.

Yes, it should. That should be a line that a character says in a star Trek show. . . Done PaleGhost. Fantastic. Well done PaleGhost.

The second comment, which was from AJ Chan, wrote, by 2005 we had seen Vulcan, what’s the name?

Konos Kronos. Yeah.

Right. Yeah. We, we’d seen Konos and Romulus many times. It was nice to see the home world of a species that was introduced back in the original series.

I liked how they fleshed out the Andorians through the whole series. Seasons one through four, the Andorians were one of the most consistent, bright spots of enterprise. I agreed with this comment wholeheartedly. Absolutely. And I think it’s because they had never explored the endurance before. Yeah, it was, it was still in the lore of star Trek, but it was brand new to all the fans, so there was something new and engaging there.

But the fact they kept defaulting back to Vulcans and to Klingons and all these other species that we knew backwards and forwards, upside down, and all different kinds of ways. It was like a missed opportunity and every time the endurance were involved, my little antenna would perk up. I always got really excited when they

were in an episode.

Yeah, it’s an interesting comment and it’s interesting to think about the reasons for some of these changes, and that takes us in a weird, uh, indirect route to today’s episode. One of the reasons why some of these species that are referenced in the original series aren’t as explored in the original series and waited until next generation or later to actually be explored in these ways, was sometimes because of cost and mm-hmm.

it was in my research on these particular episodes, which one of the byproducts of this two-parter is Manny Coto. Again, we’ve said this practically every episode of our discussions around season four was trying to build a bridge between enterprise and the original series. . He, of course, when he was making these in 2005, at that point, nobody’s thinking, Hey, in 15 years or so, there’s gonna be another star Trek resurgence, and we’re gonna be doing a show between Enterprise and the original series.

Nobody had that on their radar, of course, at that time. So he is trying to create some explanations for various aspects. Why would the Vulcans change what were Andorian like? He has the opportunity to explore all of that. Why were some of these things not done on the original series? Sometimes it was because of cost.

The reason the Klingons were originally introduced in the original series was because the Vulcan Romulan look was a little too expensive to do regularly. The prosthetic ears, the, the wigs for the, the haircuts and all of that. , it was determined it was a little too expensive to have Romulan be the main villain again and again and again.

They needed something cheaper. And what was cheaper than literally putting some shoe polish on the faces, some Mongolian outfits on your, on your actors and saying, here are the Klingons. So the Klingons are introduced in the original series as basically just makeup covered humans. Then in next generation we see the evolution of the Klingon based on what happened in the original motion picture.

The star Trek motion picture introduced Klingon with a look for the first time with the whole prosthetic face ridges and all of the extra accoutrements that we came to anticipate from Klingons. So then you have 20 years of film. Mm-hmm. and TV making, and the enterprise comes. Enterprise also uses the ridges and the whole Klingon garb that we’re accustomed to now as more modern, meaning 21st century viewers.

And there becomes the question, well, what about the original series? There is a part of me that is always willing to say, well, the original series was made in the sixties. Yeah, that’s why they look different. They were made in the sixties. Big deal. There’s also the question of like, well, why does a teleporter work differently in the original series than it does in the next generation?

Because it was the 1960s. The the special effects were different. I’m fine with all, with all of that, but there is a core to the fan community that looks for explanations, and so there were all sorts of fan creative theories for years. around explaining that difference. Mm-hmm. , this is part of the thing I love about Trek fandom, is that there’s all these little ways of tying these threads together to say, well, it’s not really a contradiction.

Mm-hmm. , and they create these little networks of, of explanations, one of them being, well, perhaps on the Klingon home world, there are different regions where people look a little bit different. No different than humanity. We have regions of Earth where people have much darker skin, people are taller, people are shorter.

There’s different facial features. So there was this explanation of, well, on the Klingon home world, there must be a region and there must be different Sects of communities that serve in different ways. And so we’ve seen the original series Klingons, and they came from one part of Kronos and the other Klingons come from another, but that wasn’t good enough for Manny Coto

so no, here they come with an explanation in this episode. For why necessary? Nuns, , why do Klingon? It’s completely unnecessary, not have face ridges. And so we’ll get into that conversation later. But I think it’s an interesting to jump back to what spurred on my, my little, uh, review of the history right there.

I think the andorians were not explored probably because back in the 1960s, the first time they showed an Andorian, they were expensive. The first time they showed a Tellerite. The two other species that are part of the formation of the federation, the makeup on them was difficult and probably expensive and it was probably deemed not worth going back and revisiting just from a cost perspective.

Sure. Yeah. So here we are in 2005 and Manny Coto is like, here’s what I’m gonna do, and jumps in with both feet. We have, under Manny Coto, not only the continuation of the strong Andorian storyline, which is introduced very early in enterprise, he revisits the Tellerites. in an episode we discussed recently, which I thought was a really nice depiction of what their culture is like, and now we’ve also seen the Andorian home world.

And so he’s able to do all these things, drives that, that vehicle of like, here’s what I’m gonna do. Maybe a little too fast and a little too far when you hit these episodes, . So maybe it’s a little, little too much oomph in that this is the goal. Furious. Let explain. Yeah. Let me explain away all these question marks from the original series and the gaps between the two.

Right? This might have been one that was maybe left a little bit unnecessary as Matt just said, but we’ll get into that. That noise in the background of course. Is the read alert that can mean one thing, we’re under attack. No wait, that’s not what it means. It can mean one of two things. We’re under attack or it’s time for Matt to read the Wikipedia description.

I’m gonna assume it’s time for the latter. Matt, take it away. This is, I will remind everybody. Two episodes that we’re talking about. So this isn’t just Wikipedia’s magic, this is a little bit of Sean’s magic. I kind of crushed these two things together and Matt best of luck. Thank you, Sean.

Affliction and divergence are the 15th and 16th episodes of the fourth season of the American Science Fiction Television series, star Trek Enterprise, and originally aired on February 18th and 25th, 2005, respectively.

Sean, can’t believe you kept the basics structure intact. Hats off to you,


Yeah, thank you. Set in the 22nd century, the series follow the adventures of the first Starfleet Starship Enterprise Registration NX oh one. And this two-parter trip transfers to Columbia. In part because of his feelings for T’Pol.

The crew investigate the kidnapping of Dr Phlox, John Billingsley, and the ship is attacked by the new type of Klingon. Phlox is taken to a Klingon colony to work on a cure for a plague whose effects include the disappearance of the Klingons cranial Ridges, T’Pol, and Trip experience. Psychic linking, but don’t realize it’s not just dreaming.

And Reed’s loyalty is tested by a mysterious commander sending him orders to lie to Captain Archer. Columbia arrives so that Commander Tucker can be transferred to conduct repairs on Enterprise’s Warp engine before it overloads the two ships then pursue, uh,

to lead . A lead , sorry, it’s, I’m breaking down.

It’s, it’s grammatically correct, but it is tricky to read

the two ships then pursue a lead to a Klingon research outpost where Phlox is under pressure to cure the virus that the Klingons created from augmented human dna. I got a slow clap you, Sean, for weaving those two together. That’s

Job Baldon.

Thank you. Thank you so much. You could, you could write for Wiki. Hey, here’s, hoping I keep sending them my resume and my list of books. I don’t get many responses. . So as Matt just mentioned, these episodes originally aired in February the 18th and the 25th Affliction, which is episode number 15, was directed by Michael Grossman, story by Manny Koto, teleplay by Mike Sussman.

And guest appearances include John Schuck as Antaak James Avery as General K’Vagh, ADA Marris as Captain Eric Hernandez, Eric Pierpont as Harris Terrell Tilford as Marab, Kate McNeil as Commander Collins, Derek Mag as Commander Kelby, and Seth McFarland as Ensign Rivers, Seth McFarland. Yes, that’s Seth McFarlands.

And I would also point out that we have James Avery. Yes, that’s right. Uncle Phil from the Fresh Prince of Bel Air. I kept wanting this Klingon to turn to people and give them fatherly advice. . And as for a divergence, this episode aired on February 25th. It’s directed by David Barrett, a first time director on enterprise, written by Judith Reeves Stevens, and Garfield Reeves Stevens.

Guest appearances include Kristin Bauer as Lieutenant Linne, James Avery, again as General K’Vagh. John Schuck as Antaak terrell Tilford is Marab. Eric Pontes Harris, ADA Marris as Captain Eric Hernandez, and somebody, I’m gonna point out here at the beginning as a high spot for me in this episode. Wayne Grace, as Fleet Admiral Krell, I thought his performance was fantastic.

What was going on at the time of the original broadcast of these, between the February 18th and the 25th? Well, Matt started off singing, let Me Love You by Mario, but he ended one week later on one two step. Sierra featuring Missy Elliot. Matt, you wanna give us a few bars of that? Great. And at the movie theater for two weeks, everybody was laying up.

Sea Will Smith’s movie Hitch Hitch broke. 51st dates record of 39 million for the highest weekend debut for a romantic comedy. It is not available on streaming, but is available for rent. If anybody wants to go see Will Smith fall in love and on television. Well over this two week period, star Trek earned about 3 million viewers per week.

That’s in comparison to abc, which was getting about 10 million viewers via eight Simple Rules or America’s Funniest Home Videos. Jordan Arcadia was strong with 8 million viewers on cbs. In both weeks, the Bernie Mac show was earning between five and 4 million on Fox dateline NBC on N b. NBC was getting well above those other shows at about 12 million viewers, and then the WB was just beating enterprise.

What I like about you and Reba, that’s right, Reba were both earning a little bit above the 3 million viewers the enterprise was getting, and in the news, well, a rough period for people in a Indian Ocean tsunami. It’s discovered that the tsunami that hit the Indian Peninsula in 2004 uncovered an ancient city that was discovered near the coastal town of Maha Balo Peram in India, and a number of blasts hit Shia mosques in Baghdad, leaving 27 dead and 60 wounded the day before the Shia Holy Festival of As.

So things were not going well in Iraq. A week later, it would be announced that the BTK killer was arrested. Dennis Lynn Rader is an American serial killer, known as the B T K. He named himself that for bind, torture, kill the BTK strangler or B T K Killer. Between 1974 and 1991, he killed 10 people in Wichita and Park City, Kansas, and sent taunting letters to the police and media outlets describing the details of his crimes and mocking them for not being able to find him.

After a decade long hiatus, he resumed sending letters in 2004, which led to his arrest and subsequent guilty plea. He’s currently serving 10 consecutive life sentences at the El Dorado Correctional. So into our discussion about these two episodes, Matt and I will be, I don’t think we’re going to give much care about referencing what happens in which episode.

I think we’re gonna view it very much like a one solid storyline, and if anybody hasn’t already watched part two, I recommend jumping back and watching part two before listening to the, yeah, this, if you’re interested in avoiding spoilers. The other thing I would suggest is if anybody is interested in weighing in on the conversation, in the comments.

Feel free to if you want to reference particular episodes, but I wouldn’t worry too much about that. I think this discussion really does reflect what the suggestion from our listeners and viewers was. We really need to view this as a cohesive hole. And this is a little bit different than like when we get into a storyline, like on discovery, where one episode does lead directly into another episode, but we can’t watch the entirety of discovery and to have one big medic conversation around that this is a two-party that really does end on a cliffhanger and then picks up right where it left off.

So it really is one story. Yep. So to start off with, we have the enterprise return to. and in preparation of the Columbia, which is the second ship of the new Starfleet, which is built along the same model as the enterprise, the Columbia is getting ready to leave dock for the first time. It is still a few weeks away from being completed.

The enterprise returns not only for the ceremonies involving that, but so that enterprise can drop off. Lieutenant Reed, who in the previous episode asked for a transfer his personal, I meant Tucker, excuse me, to transfer Tucker to Columbia. In the previous episode, Tucker had complained to Archer that he was not able to conduct his duties and he needs a change of location, and despite Archers pleased to stay, Tucker was granted that transfer, and so he’s going to become the chief engineer aboard the second ship of this new Starfleet.

While that is underway, we see people getting shore leave back on Earth and we have. Hoshi and Flox visiting their favorite restaurant in San Francisco. A nice callback because there’s a previous episode from a few seasons earlier where they had a conversation about where to get the best Chinese food and Flox referenced a restaurant in San Francisco, which now we see them leaving that restaurant and both of them are complaining that it’s getting crowded and Hoshi reveals it might be her fault.

I love that. Little callback. Yeah, I love that. It’s this very charming little moment between the two of them where she’s like, well, I’m cops, officer officers talk. I’m able to get word out. So she has spread word about this restaurant at the point where lots of people from Starfleet were seen dining in the restaurant on their way out.

They are attacked by somebody who turns out to be raelians and they kidnap Phlox. and Hoshi, despite the fact that she is able to fight back particularly well against multiple attackers is not able to stop it, and it takes a little bit of back and forth between Archer and Hoshi and to Paul to figure out how to get the details of the attack out of Hoshi because she can’t recall the details enough, which leads to the first time that we’re seeing a member of the enterprise crew undergo a Vulcan mine meld from T’Pol.

This, of course, would become fairly standard on the original series where we would see Spock regularly. Use the mind meld to various ends in various episodes, but T’Pol is hesitant to do it. How did you, I just curious about the mind meld. How did you feel about this introduction of like, to Paul, I think you should use this mind meld and T’Pol’s willingness to do it.

It felt a little too

convenient that it was just like on a, like a switch got flipped and she was like, okay. But at the same time, we’ve seen her over several episodes how she’s kind of refinding her religion in a way. Yeah. With the new, the new book. And she’s kind of refinding her Vulcan and she’s gotten a little more Vulcan that we expect where she’s a little more detached.

Um, so it’s like it makes sense that she’s more open to it cuz it’s part of that whole relearning she’s doing. The one part I didn’t like was the captain was like, oh, I still, I can teach you how to do this. Yeah. I still got memories of how to do it. Yeah. And I was like, oh, come on. Really? Really? Yeah. Yeah.

Really We didn’t, no, we didn’t have to go there. That, that part bothered me. Um. But the fact that she did it didn’t, wasn’t too, it was, it felt a little quick, but at the same time, just remembering all the previous episodes, it made sense why she would be willing to try it. I did think it was neat to see her do it for the first time and how it was kind of not working at first and then it finally clicked in.

Yeah. So it was not like an instant, I get it. The first try was nice. Uh, but to tie it back to all the, all the threads that you just described, how they got started, I really enjoyed the Trip Tucker storyline. Yeah. Of how different he was behaving. on the Columbia Yeah. Versus how he behaved on enterprise.

And it comes out over the course of his storyline of this b b plot. Why he’s behaving that way. Yeah. Because he’s trying to remain detached. Doesn’t want those friendships, those things that are causing him the pain on enterprise. He just wants to be about business and nothing else. And he is like driving that crew like nobody’s business.

And Seth McFarland shows up and I was going, what is happening right now? And I got very confused. And then just after I settled down, it was like, okay, I

wanted him to drop into a Stewy voice and be like, . So, uh, how’s that engine going? It was really, uh, burning those data crystals. Hmm. Yeah. Yeah. But the,

the other, the other plot line that they started with that wonderful conversation between, uh, Phlox and hoshi.

I love that. My disappointment here was Hoshi was very integral to the whole opening of this entire storyline. Yeah. And then she’s basically taken on and put on a back burner and we never see her again for the rest of the episodes. Yeah. And it was like, what is going on with that? Yeah. ,

what is going on with that?

Yeah. It would’ve been nice if she had been like showing up and being like, I feel personally responsible because of Phlox being kidnapped right next to him. Yeah. And I really wanna be a part of this. It would’ve been nice. It’s like her best friend.

It’s like she’s trying to help her, she’s trying to help her best friend.

It’s like she should have been more involved and trying to help find him, but it was just like in the beginning she kicks ass that fight scene. Yeah, it’s, it’s awesome because it’s like, you remember how when she almost died from that virus, how we talked about how, how they were actually starting to flesh out her character with all these backstories of how she was doing that poker game and she actually has like a black belt and like karate or some other things and like, yeah, we got to see some of that in action with her using those skills.

And it was like, really cool. And who’s Hoshi? Yeah. For the rest of the episodes, it was like, that’s disappointing. Frustrating.

Yeah. I agree about the speed with which the mine meld is is used and I felt like they didn’t do. I kind of appreciate the subtlety, but I think it’s maybe a little too subtle as to what role the mine meld has in the plot.

I think that what they were trying to do was in that moment, I agree with you, archer’s like, don’t worry about it. I can teach you how to do it. I was just like, Ugh. That kind of like just rubbed me the wrong way. But I think what they were trying to do was during the process of it, , she is advised like lower your emotional barriers a little bit.

Mm-hmm. , I think that that is supposed to be the issue. She lowers her emotional barriers and creates inadvertently a psychic link between her and Hoshi and allows her strong psychic link that exists between her and Tripp just because of their romantic entanglement. Yeah. To begin to bleed through. And I think that that was what was intended here.

I think it could have still worked if it had been a little bit more into Paul’s parlance. If she had been the one saying like, this is gonna be difficult for me because I’m gonna have to lower my emotional barriers and I don’t know what that’s gonna do considering I’m not doing this with another Vulcan, I’m doing this with a human.

There could be repercussions and it would’ve been nice, I think, if she had said to Hoshi. after this, you and I, based on my research, you and I may feel a little bit of consistency between each other, over a little bit of time before the bear, before it begins to break down. So don’t be disturbed if you experience something that feels like my presence, it will go away over time.

I think that that would’ve been a better way of queuing. Mm-hmm. us in as to why, what happens later happens. Because when Hoshi shows up and is like, I had a semi romantic dream about Trip. Mm-hmm. , I was like, wait, what? Like the way it was brought up was it was outta left field. Outta left field, and it felt like, yeah, like if you are a colleague with somebody, which is what they are, they’re workplace colleagues.

If I had a romantic dream about somebody I work with, I wouldn’t go up to another person and say like, Hey, you know what was weird? I had a romantic dream about Bob the other night, like, Like that’s, that’s not appropriate. That’s not appropriate conversation. And if it had been more in the vein of Hoshi going to to Paul, I think it might have actually been kind of compelling if it had been Hoshi going to T’Pol and saying, you mentioned that you and I might have some kind of strange entanglement that would last for a few days after our mine meld into Paul saying yes.

And then Hoshi saying, I had a dream about trip. Is there something that is bothering you? Is there something that happened between the two of you that caused him to leave that might’ve been a, that would’ve been a friend moment as opposed to hos? She’s very strange. Just like guess who had a sexy dream the other night?

It was just like, . That’s not, that’s not how this should have come up. And I think that was an, there was an alternative to it. , but the elements of what was happening, I understood how they were supposed to interlock. So I was like, okay, it was a little clunky, but okay. Mm-hmm. . So there’s that whole storyline, which I view as one of the, the B there’s multiple storylines in these two episodes, and some of them start and finish in the first episode, and some start and finish in the second.

And then there are two main storylines that I think linger through both the Trip to Paul Transfer storyline over is both. And the other one is of course Fox’s kidnapping. Foxx’s kidnapping. And, and, but Reid’s Reid’s, uh, largely I think is, um, it’s dissolved into in the second episode. Yeah. Yeah. The element of Fox’s kidnapping is it turns out that there’s a Klingon research outpost that is dealing with a.

Outbreak of a virus and the enterprise begins to connect the dots between, and I actually really liked this aspect of the story. The, they’re following clues that are like, well, there was a, they identify because of the mine, Mel. Oh, it’s Gerian. There was a regalian ship that left Earth. It was supposed to be going to this other colony.

It went the wrong direction. Maybe we can follow some clues. And they end up finding the raelian craft. It has been destroyed and everybody on board killed looking at the data of what destroyed the ship. Read completely misidentified who’s responsible. And Reed has been effectively, um, he’s been compromised.

He’s acting as an agent for a mysterious figure that we only see through communication. And it’s a little mustache twirling. I, you know, like, . I kept thinking, what if the guy that Reid is communicating with is in a bright office wearing something casual and just very kind of casually saying like, you’ve gotta do these things.

That to me would’ve lended an air of more mystery and nefarious than what is a guy sitting in a room always at night? Hold on . And he’s in

black. It’s like he looks like

leather or pleather outfit that goes up to his neck. That makes him look a little ish. And, but they’re doing it to, they’re doing it to take short a shorthand.

It is a shorthand. I understand. This

is the villain. They’re trying to take that visual shorthand so they don’t, don’t have to spend time telling it in the story. They can just, like, you immediately know, oh, this is a bad

guy. Yes. It’s like,

I understand why they did it cuz it’s that Friday night aspect that we’ve talked about numerous times.

Yeah. They’re trying to boil it down to make everything black or white. Easy to understand. It’s expedited storytelling, so it’s like, I didn’t like it either. I thought it was a little heavy handed .

I, I just feel like there would’ve been such an interesting approach if it had looked a little bit more like personal communication.

Like somebody who looks like they’re just jumping into a conversation to like, you know, like follow up with Reid. How’s Reid doing? You’re back on earth fucking code. And then somebody saying like, you’ve gotta do these things. And then it becomes like, who is this guy? Eventually he references a code of the Starfleet charter, which is effectively a reference to section 31.

This is the first now reference to section 31 that we get in this chronological viewing viewers of multiple truck Trek shows on the future will understand that Section 31 makes a bigger appearance later on. And it is effectively their N S A, their cia. It is a black ops operation that will do whatever it has to including.

Law, and even in this case, working against what looks like working against Starfleet and Earth’s best interest in the name of stability, in the name of protection. So they are telling Reid, you cannot share certain in details around what is happening with your own captain. And Reid lies as a result and says that he believes that there might be some Orion Syndicate involvement in having destroyed the Rions.

So the enterprise is kind of spinning in space for a moment until they, they are attacked and they are attacked by a vessel. That, for intents and purposes, looks Klingon. But when they are boarded by these individuals and attacked, they don’t look Klingon. They come across as, and this goes right back to the flashback of the original series that I talked about at the beginning of this episode.

They look like they’re just simply dark-skinned, long-haired. Attackers who are not easily identified at first until one of them is captured and when analyzed they find Klingon dna. So now they have this different type of Klingon that they are not familiar with and they are interested in connecting these dots.

So how do we connect the dot from this mysterious new type of Klingon to what’s going on with Phlox? We see the research facility and we’re informed that a new type of virus is tearing through the Klingon community. It’s very interesting to me in 2005 to watch a story effectively about the Pandemic.

Pandemic. It was such a strange, it was such a strange sort of like, yeah, this is pretty wild. It was. Eventually we find out that the doctor who has suggested that Phlox could provide solutions, and this doctor is. Very nicely played by John Shuck, who John Shuck has been in Star Trek before, in fact, playing Klingons.

He has played a Klingon ambassador in Star Treks, uh, I believe it’s four and five. He, as a doctor, eventually reveals that he’s responsible for the outbreak. He was doing research on using the augmented human DNA in creating improvements to the Klingon Warrior cast. Effectively looking for ways of creating augments that would have the higher intelligence and stamina and strength that Khan and the other augments exhibited Phlox upon.

Hearing this makes a very strong argument about you never would’ve been able to control them. It has effects on every part of the. Individual’s personality, which would include aggression, which would include a total lack of being able to control them. They would’ve turned against you and they would’ve destroyed you eventually.

But the byproduct of this in the short term was inadvertently, one of the subjects who was tested with this DNA was actually carrying a virus, which then mutated and became airborne. Again, we’re not talking about the pandemic, it just sounds like we are. Yeah. So this virus is now tearing through Klingon colonies and the Klingon response to this, as we have seen in previous episodes, when the Klingons deal with an outbreak, they destroy the outbreak.

They just crush it. We will remember that in an earlier episode this season, there’s the aliens that are using the contagion. Of a, uh, of a vessel in a region of space that hadn’t yet been explored. And they just watch how aliens respond to this viral issue. And the Klingon and the Kardashians were references to having just wiped out the infected.

That was how they dealt with it. A very cold and calculated response. Yeah. So the Oregonians in that episode were like, well, what will the humans do here? We have now evidence of how Phlox is responding differently to this outbreak than the Klingon. The Klingon don’t want to die. The Klingon want to find a cure, but they are also willing to sacrifice their own.

They reference very casually when Uncle Phil, I’m sorry. No, it’s James Avery as General K’Vagh, when General K’Vagh casually mentions well, we started to do testing on our own soldiers when we ran out of prisoners. So this is what they’ve been doing. They are, they’re willing to sacrifice themselves. They’re willing to sacrifice their own.

And General K’Vagh is even willing to entertain why Fleet Admiral Krell has been ordered to destroy the very colony that they’re in. He understands it. He’s not afraid of death. So this new infection has multiple stages. They refer to three stages. And stage one is you lose your cranial ridges. Matt, you wanna talk a little bit about infection and how it affects bone structure, like literally overnight.

It doesn’t . This is,

this is the rec cunning that is completely unnecessary. It’s completely unnecessary. I get why Manny Coto and crew decided to go this RA route, cuz it’s, there’s this fun playfulness about it, of trying to explain away this. This connection point between the original series and everything else.

But this to me is just stupid beyond stupid. And it was just it, it was so unnecessary. The storyline of what’s going on and like how they were experimenting with the DNA and it’s getting outta control and this fire, all that stuff. It’s like, I’m like, okay, this is cool, this fun. I get to see Phlox in action being flock science guy because he’s got a reputation around the galaxy and everybody thinks he’s awesome and so they kidnap him so they can help fix this problem.

Great. But the whole cranial ridges, making them look a human, like the bronzed humans . Yeah. The original series. So unnecessary. So completely unnecessary. Yeah. Um,

yeah. So that’s what we’re seeing. We’re seeing now the rec. in full effect. I do like some of the dialogue in these episodes. I think the writing, you know, the, they’re trying to use the, the, yeah.

Trying to convey a reconning story. But some of the moments between various enterprise crewmen and themselves is terrific. There’s a lot of nice to Paul Tripp. Yeah. Uh, interaction when they end up having their psychic connect. appears in the form of what they both think is either a dream or a daydream, and a nice moment when they are finally able to reconnect in person and are dancing around this issue that both of them have had this experience, but neither one of them is willing in that moment to say, like, I had a weird experience and you were there.

If that conversation had taken place, it could have like fast forwarded, uh, a relationship building issue, but instead they’re both dancing awkwardly around it in a very realistic way. And I think that some of that writing is fantastic. I really like the Klingons in the, in this research facility. I liked the, in the interaction between John Shuck and James Avery.

I like John Shucks portrayal as this of this doctor who was a failure in his family’s eyes as a result of becoming a medical practitioner. I like Foxx’s growing admiration for. A doctor who is working in such, in conditions where the medical field in the Klingon hierarchy is basically ignored. When your soldiers are expendable in the way that Klingons view their soldiers.

What role does a doctor have? If you are taking somebody who was deemed as weak enough to become injured, what’s the value in having somebody heal them? So this person’s, uh, relationship to research includes casually saying like, oh, you don’t need to contact anybody for their database. We’ve stolen it like this is a doctor who has to work completely on his own using whatever means necessary.

I got the impression that this research doctor, Has probably lives as a popper because he uses whatever finances he can get ahold of to get ahold of equipment and information on his own without the support of the empire. I don’t believe that there’s a bureaucracy at work within the Klingon hierarchy that’s helping him, unless they have a direct relationship to the results.

In this case, the augments, you’re, you’re hitting on all the, I

agree with you. Just at a high level. I liked these two episodes. Yeah. There was a lot to like about these two episodes. The writing is really smart on the main elements that you’re hitting on. The acting is great. Like there’s, there’s a whole bunch of stuff to like, but yeah, there’s also a bunch of just pure stupidity.

yes. Like,

like what we just talked about already. Another one I wanted to bring up, going right back to the Columbia.

This is,

this is the same class of star. As the enterprise, but we gotta make it look different cuz it, it’s like we don’t want people to think they’re just on the same set. So we something, hold on

a second.

Let’s put these, you telling the background. Are you telling me that you think large strobing tubes in the back of a command center on a ship, which might cause epileptic seizures among the crew are a bad idea? What are

those? Yeah. Are they, are they like warp conduits? Like what the f what the hell are they supposed to be?

And they’re just like blinking all the time. It’s like, okay, you only did this to create a visual distinction between the enterprise and Columbia. Because me as a viewer, I might get confused. Yeah. It’s like, no, I’m gonna see the people on the bridge. I’m gonna know what ship I’m on. Yeah. You don’t have to do something so obvious is that It was just

my favorite part of the change.

Stupid. Yeah. My favorite part of the change was the telephone pole that’s right next to the helm. Well there’s this also random, there’s this random pole that’s just there and it’s, it’s got a little computer monitor on it. It just like, what would that be for? You’ve got the helm right there. The, the other

thing that really drove me nuts.

Was they had to get trip back onto the enterprise. Okay. But then they created this whole sequence of him having to tether. Yeah. The other ship, because there’s this whole sequence, which is basically the movie speed, because the Klingon that invaded the enterprise put a, put a uh, virus in their computer that took it over and made it so that if they went slower than warp five,

the ship would explode.


speed, . And of course, the only way we can stop this is. Tripp is the only one that can figure this out. Cause there’s nobody smart on the enterprise that can figure this out. So it has to be Tripp. And Tripp has to be there in person for some reason because he can’t talk somebody through what has to be done.

He has to be the one that does this. So they have to get him over, but for some reason they can’t do a freaking transporter. Why isn’t transporter work? Nobody can really explain that. No, we have to shoot him down a tether to the other ship in a maneuver. This never been done before and will never be done again.

Again. Because guess what? They have freaking transporters. They don’t have to do this. And the thing that he does is he gets on board and restarts the computer wouldn’t restarting the computer, have just like taken them outta warp. We have seen so many ships just fall outta warp and it doesn’t destroy the ships.

It’s like if somebody just reboot, hit the, hit the power button and rebooted the computer, the ship would’ve fallen outta warp. It wouldn’t have exploded cuz the virus was shut down and all the stuff would’ve been fine. Why did he have to come across and tether across and do all this? Bullshit. It got me so angry.

I was like, there was so much to like about these two episodes and that entire sequence made no sense. It was nonsensical and it was just there for some kind of visual excitement for that Friday night audience, and it was just dumb.

I mean, . Am I wrong? To summarize for people who might have just joined us, Matt has just lost his mind.

Yes. No, I completely agree with you. I watched the entire sequence and I was just like, what a waste of time and resources. It’s, yeah. I would’ve rather explored more of Flo’s growing relationship with this Klingon doctor. Yeah. Which I think did have a lot to it. That was well done in the episode. Yeah. But another, another few episode, another few conversations around that you want to have the Klingon plant a virus that shoots the enterprise up to warp speeds that will eventually rip it apart, forcing them to hard reboot the entire system, which drops them out of warp and does something to damage them temporarily.

Forcing them to kind of limp along until the Columbia can get to them, and then Trip can come over to help repair the damage as a result of that. There you go. I think all of that makes sense. Go. But the, but what was done, I completely agreed with you. It was, it was done as a. Homage to speed and an homage to their ability with special effects to create this look.

Mm-hmm. . But even having said that, there were moments where the special effects didn’t look that great to me and it felt a little cheap. Oh. There were a couple of secret moments where the two ships are flying in parallel and the warp fields are doing things. And I thought, this looks like a video game from 2005.

This doesn’t look like even, even enterprise’s own special effects from previous episodes. And later in the these two episodes, there’s a space battle with multiple Klingons and two Starfleet ships that I thought was really well done. But the sequence of getting trip on the tether from one to the other and the climactic ending where Reed Yeah.

Has to at the last moment pull him a. , he’s literally in the shuttle bay. He could have untethered and jumped from the tether to the platform at any moment, but instead he climbs all the way up to Reid so that we can have this moment of tension. And at no point did it feel like real moments of tension.

It was for me, this was the Friday night ish. Mm-hmm. moment of this, of this episode where it was really like, this was the kind of of calamity that you would see in the A team. And I felt like, okay, this is just not doing anything. I’m glad it doesn’t

mean anything. I’m glad you brought up the, the special effects look cheap at times.

There was one shot that just really rubbed me the wrong way. Cause I know exactly how it was done and why it looked bad. But it was like when trip was in the middle of the tether and the, the ships were coming at the screen and then it was. zoomed on him and then it zipped around him. And then you saw the ships from behind going away.

Mm-hmm. . That was not 3D graphics, that was not any of that stuff. No. It was a still image of these two ships. And all they did was just scale the images down. So the perspective never changed. Yeah. It was in a, it was in a fixed perspective, just getting smaller and because of that, your human brain realizes something’s off.


It makes it look cheap. Unc, even cause they’re doing a cheap special effect, uh, frustrating. Unnecessary, unnecessary special effects, unnecessary, uh, pseudo danger for the ship to be in. Yeah. And again, if, if the danger is legitimately, oh, the ship might fly itself apart and you do that to endanger the crew and then they pull themselves and damage themselves as a result, and it takes trip coming out on Columbia to help remedy that, I think that that’s all fine.

Ultimately, though it is such a strange and abbreviated shortcut to getting trip who has been on the Columbia for a week back aboard the enterprise and back aboard the enterprise in a way that allows for more awkwardness between him and to Paul, him still pulling away her unwilling to admit to him of where her feelings truly stand.

Um, I understand why they’re building all of that tension between the two of them. It’s not unwanted from me as a viewer, um mm-hmm. , but some of it feels like, okay, there could have been more of that. Instead of this special effect sequence. Yes. Um, so we end up following the research in the second half of this story.

We end up following a lot of the research and we end up seeing a lot of Reid and the fallout between him and Captain Archer and really some good stuff there, by the way. Yeah, there’s a lot of good stuff there. And Reed’s conflict and Reed’s history with Section 31 is not, again, here’s another place where you could have had a little bit more like it’s reference that he was doing things all the way back to when he was in Ensen.

And it might’ve been interesting, I would’ve actually appreciated if Archer had on his own, been doing some research into Reed and if there had been a conversation in which he says, I’ve noticed in like going to him and saying like, I noticed a lot of strange transfers in your past. I’m starting to look at them differently now than I did.

and kind of like making these links of like, you’ve been doing this for a while. I think there could have been a really interesting spy game storyline. Mm-hmm. where it could have been Archer. I kept thinking about the movie No Way Out where the person involved in the investigation of is there a mole in the system?

Mm-hmm. is themselves the Mole. And I kept thinking like, what if there had been a storyline developed where there’s concern that somebody within Starfleet may have taken Phlox into a bad situation? And Reid is tasked with putting these things together and Archer slowly begins to understand that Reid himself is compromised.

I think that there could have been a really interesting cat and a mouse story developed out of that. There’s a sort of version of that. There are some nice conversations. Mm-hmm. around that. Archer having a face-to-face, like you need to figure out where your loyalties are. You can’t serve two masters.

Reid gets out of this a little too clean in my, yes, he does. In my regard, I think that this was an opportunity for enterprise to do something that would’ve been a little more similar to their episodes, where Picard in next generation hauls wharf out on the carpet with like, there’s, there’s responsibilities here that you can’t simply just jump back and forth between.

You need to pick a path. Um, I wanted something more with, with more teeth. Uh, even if it was a demerit referenced in the record something, yeah. That would really knock, read back a bit and be like, like you, you did, you did things that compromised the potential. Safety of the crew. Um, so that in my regard is, is a weak point in this storyline.

But ultimately we’re supposed to see Reid trying to struggle more than we’re supposed to see. He’s in a knowing situation. He’s in a no one situation. Yeah. And the acting from Dominic Keating in this, I think is particularly good. Uh, his,

this entire plot line, there are weaknesses in some of how it’s com communicated to us as viewers, but by and large, I thought it was really compelling.

Just like, just like Koshi, it was fun to get more depth to read. Yeah. And allow him to, the performance is great. The struggle is clear that he wants to help the captain, but at the same time, he’s also, he’s obeying commands from a previous commander. So it’s like he’s kind of caught between a rock and a hard place and it’s, he has no way to negotiate out of it.

and to talk about like having trip on board, it kind of ties to that a little bit because there’s that wonderful moment where the two of them helped to get the enterprise out of danger, and then when they come out of the room, there’s two security guards, guards to pick read up and trip is like, wait, what?

What’s going on here? He’s like, oh, there’s a misunderstanding with the captain. And then he gets taken away. And Reid’s kind, I mean, trips stand there, just completely befuddles like, what is going on here? Yeah. Because like he’s been gone for like days and suddenly Reed’s in the brig. and like, all this stuff has changed.

I, I did

like that aspect. I did like that he also tried to bring it up with Archer. He tried to say like, what’s going on with Reid? And Archer was like, I can’t talk about it. Yeah. But it’s this, the, the whole, there are a couple of scenes with, with Reid where he breaks down in tears, which I thought were really compelling.

There’s the moment where he’s in the brig where he’s literally begging as Archer leaves the room, like I can help. , like he’s desperately trying to get back to good standing with the captain, but he doesn’t know how to do it. And it takes, yeah. Finally a breakdown in the conversation where archer’s like, you gotta set me up in conversation with this guy.

You’ve, you’ve got to do that. And it’s, that, that gets him out of this hole is he’s able to set up a call where Archer communicates directly with this agent from section 31. And ultimately at the end of the episode, we get another moment of Reid being contacted and telling this guy like, never contact me again.

He severs the relationship. I understand why that scene looked the way it did, but again, it falls short for me. And what I wanted the final scene to be was Reid being contacted, saying something in the vein of like, my relationship with this is over and then ending the call. and then immediately reaching out through comms and saying, captain Archer, can we talk?

I wanted it to end with him saying like, I’m gonna go right to Captain Archer and I’m gonna tell him I was contacted again. That to me, would’ve demonstrated something that the show was saying needed to happen, and it didn’t happen in the way that made it clear that it was true. So that’s where, that’s where I would’ve


In my notes, I had the same thing. It’s like, I wish during that conversation he had said to the guy, anytime you contact me, I’m gonna be re sending a recording of these calls to the captain. Yeah. Just so you know. Yeah. And like, and then it’s like, even if he hadn’t like called the captain, it’s like just dropping some kind of mention of I’m always going to inform the captain whenever you contact me.

Yeah. Some form of that. I think would’ve been shown where this is heading in the future. Yeah. And making it very clear that there’s, he’s trying to mend that

relationship with the captain. I, he, I really like that. I really like that as an idea. And I really like, I mean, what if the conversation had been him seemingly, like, open to being contacted by this guy and saying, oh, and by the way, just let you know that I will continue to share records of these calls with my captain.

So like, feel free to reach out whenever and like leave it almost in a positive, like, Hey, good news, I’m, I’m gonna let Archer know about all of this and leave it with that. Yeah. As opposed to, you know, I understand the goal behind the scene as written and as, and as portrayed. Yeah. But I feel like there’s a little bit of a lingering nuance that’s lost in that moment.

Sean, the one take, the one takeaway from this whole, these two episodes, what happened to Seth McFarland? We never

saw him again. I think that I, I, and also in my research, I found out a little bit about that

the replacement for trip is not seen in the second

episode. No. And we see him as what’s fairly incompetent in the first one.

Like the captain is calling engineering and he’s slow to respond to when he gets there. He is kinda like, I don’t know what’s going on. Uh, but yeah, Seth McFarland, I, I did a little bit of research and apparently there’s an un shot scene when Uhhuh , the tethering scene takes place when it, when the tether rips out of the enterprise.

There’s a whole segment where they didn’t have the money, do the special effects shot, but the crane. Crushes Seth McFarland’s character and then slowly drags his body toward the opening of the the shuttle bay and then it gets ripped out into space. And the final thing we were gonna see was Seth McFarland’s little spinning body fall into a star.

So , but they didn’t have the money for that unfortunately. It’s too bad so it’s too bad. Yeah, too bad. Maybe there’ll be a director’s cut re-release of this at some point. Yeah. Ultimately though the storyline around the virus culminates with Phlox looking to cure the disease. The Klingons are all like, we are out of time.

We don’t have an option here. But the doctor suggests to flox, well if you help us solve the augment problem and actually create augments that would keep them from destroying us and bias time to actually solve. The virus issue. So Flox half goes along with this and there’s a little bit of a Scooby, and at the end of the Shell game, FLOX reveals to the general, oh, we are actually working on curing the virus by manipulating the augmented D n A.

And they come up with this part of the episode, I think was arguably my favorite, where narrowing it down to four strains. One of these four Phlox is confident. One of these four will be a cure, but I don’t know which one. And it will take me weeks to isolate it, figure it out, and the general looks around the room and says, you’ve got four Klingons right here.

And all four of them, without hesitation, take the infection. So that they now will just based on which one of them doesn’t die, they will know where the cure lies. . I thought that that was fantastic. Yeah, I thought that that whole thing like that, and I think I would’ve enjoyed a little bit more. Again, I keep going back to I would’ve liked more.

I would’ve taken away all that special effects stuff between the two ships and the tether, and that would’ve bought you three or four minutes to have a little bit more of the Klingons celebrating their impending death. Like, you know, the general saying things like, let’s drink to the ones of us who won’t live.

I think there could have been some really cool Klingon moments outta that. Ultimately though, it turns out the general himself has been the lucky winner. He’s gotten the shot that will not kill him. The doctor now knows I don’t, but flock suggests we have time potentially to, now that we know where the cure lies, we might be able to save you, but ultimately they’re being interrupted by the fact that Krell.

Who again, the performance here for Krell, I thought was fantastic. He’s demonstrated as being kind of lackadaisical. He is eating worms. He’s leaning back and in communication with it. Turns out the nefarious officer from section 31 and he have been in cahoots this entire time. Their conversation ends with Krell being like, you’re no longer useful to me, so let’s end this and cuts the guy off.

I liked Krell, I liked Krells performance, and Krell is showing up to destroy the virus by destroying the research facility. This is all derailed by Phlox, intentionally infecting everybody on the Klingon ship. Mm-hmm. , how did you feel about that element of the story? Because for me, didn’t feel honest to Phlox.

It didn’t feel honest to Phlox. Exactly. Yeah.

Because it’s the, the one thing that would’ve made it feel more honest was if Phlox was it, it sounded like Phlox was on hundred percent. Sure. , he had the cure. Yeah. So

I could see the leap in, I could

see the logic there of he knows he can cure everybody. He just needs the time.

So if I infect these people, I know I can solve the their problem before, you know, we run outta time. Yeah. So it’s like I’m not gonna actually kill them, this is just to buy me time. I can get that. But at the same time, that seems like a really huge gamble for Phlox to play. Like what if he can’t get it done in time?

He’s just literally killed every person on that ship. Yeah. So it’s like, that doesn’t, that’s where it’s like for me it, the Phlox that we know doesn’t feel like he would take such a big gamble. And it felt like it should have probably been the Klingon doctor. Absolutely.

Maneuver. That’s what our Phlox, that’s what I wanted to see.

I wanted to see the Klingon doctor talking to Phlox about, so this is the cure and flock saying yes, that’s, that’s the cure. And then you see the Klingon doctor switch a can. and transport something up to the ship and have Phlox in a moment after that thing has gone up to say you didn’t send them the cure, you sent them nothing but the contagion and then have the doctor communicate with the Klingon ship saying, I’ve just released all of this.

You’re all now infected, and then Phlox, jumping into the conversation. But I have a cure. You can, you can rely on me to provide you with this cure. And have there be a tension at the end there between the Klingons ability and motivation to do that kind of thing, where Phlox wouldn’t do that. I just, I had that moment of like, he’s suddenly so cutthroat and it’s just like, this is a guy who literally was like, please just kill me because I’m not gonna help you.

Like an hour earlier in the storyline, he’s like, yeah, I’m not gonna do anything. And is arguing with Klingons about their treatment of their own people. It didn’t mesh up with him being willing to do that. But even with that,

to me it was still a minor issue. It didn’t like,

yeah, it didn’t derail everything.

It didn’t knock me completely off. It’s like

it was like a, ah, I don’t think he would’ve done that, but Okay. I’ll go with it. But overall, I thought that storyline was really,

really good. I enjoyed it. I did.

For me, overall, I gave these two thu, I gave these, I gave this a, a thumbs up for these two episodes.

Definitely think it’s worth watching. You just have to go in knowing there’s some really stupid stuff in here. Yes. But it’s outweighed by the smart stuff. Yeah.

Some really, it’s definitely more good than that. Some really quick thumb note notes about other elements that are just like, huh, would include, uh, Scott Bakula being infected while tied to a chair.

Yep. So that he can thrash around, like, I mean, they must have done that in one take. It looked, yep. It did not look good. It was not the best acting from Bakula, and it ends up with him gaining ridges. . So we end up with a little strange semi Klingon Archer at the end of the episode, which again, hand wavy, it doesn’t make any sense.

Mm-hmm. , don’t worry too hard about it. And then the final scene between Phlox and the Klingon Doctor, where we see the Klingon doctor with much less makeup, including, he’s not even bronzed, he just looks like a pale Klingon. Mm-hmm. . And it’s a little wild and it’s a little unnecessary and it ends.

arguably one of the most original series type jokes of mm-hmm. Enterprise, where the Klingon doctor says, now that my research is completely derailed, I don’t know what I’ll do. Maybe I’ll go into ridge reconstruction. And Phlox is like, there’s gonna be a market for it. And then you can almost hear,

it’s like, okay. So now we’ve got an introduction of an element into the Trek universe where there’s a period of time where, because of the vaccine for this particular virus, Klingon throughout the empire, lose their ridges, but then mm-hmm. pass it on to their children. But eventually that genetic trait resurfaces that now Yep.

Is supposed to be part of the core of the canon. So, We will potentially revisit this. And I say that because when we move past enterprise and now we are only, we are more than halfway through season four, we are closer to the end of Trek of enterprise than we are to the beginning. The next step for us is going to be discovery where we will see yet another manifestation of Klingon.

So, oh yeah, looking forward to that. Wildly different. So yes. So stay tuned for that and stay tuned for Matt and Sean trying desperately to get all of the Canada fit in their heads. We’re gonna end up with our own ridges, I think. Yes. But please do jump into the comments and let us know what you thought about this episode.

Like, Matt, I give this a thumbs up. It has moments that just left me going, like, really? No, let’s not do that. But overall, I was just into it for the, this is the first time that Enterprise I think, has done Klingons well. Yeah. And it’s because we’re not seeing Klingons running around as just like gun-wielding villains.

We know them as characters to be far more sophisticated than that. But Enterprise hasn’t yet given us that, and this one really does show it. I love the depiction of the doctor. Yeah. I love the, the, the, you see the manifestation of what the Warrior Cast is doing to Klingon society and you see what Klingon society underneath that is trying to do to, to continue to act.

In its own best interest. And I think this episode did a really good job of telling that story, but weigh in the comments. Do you agree? Next time, Matt, we’re gonna be talking about the episode bound. Any predictions about what that will be about? Uh, the captain’s tied up pretty tied up, hanging upside down.

So Matt, before we sign off, is there anything we wanted to remind our listeners about? What do you have coming up on your main channel? The, I have an episode coming up

about aquaponics, which you can do at home. You can do it on your kitchen countertop. You could do it in the backyard, you could do it at scale.

It’s a really interesting way to grow vegetables

with fish. It’s

kind of a really, it’s a very old concept that’s trying to be perfected

with new tech. It’s pretty interesting. Sounds wild. As for me, you can check out my website, sean Ferrell dot com. You can also look for my books at any book seller that includes Amazon, bards, and Noble.

Your local bookstore or your public library, they’re available everywhere. And keep an eye out as we move toward June when my new series, the Sinister Secrets of Singe will be releasing book One focuses on the boy Noah, who discovers that his father is actually a mad genius who has built robots that might destroy the city.

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