Star Trek: Enterprise also had some bad ones, particularly awful ones.
All reviews taken from Kethinov – Star Trek Reviews.
#10. “Oasis” from Season One
A rehash of DS9: “Shadowplay” regarding living one’s life in a holographic world, with a bit of DS9: “Progress.” Ezral is a lot like Mullibok. And the treatment of Liana is a lot like Vina from TOS: “The Cage,” or Kes on Voyager. I think the rehash-o-meter is going through the roof again! As a result, we have a most unremarkable episode. In some ways, annoying too. Ent: “Unexpected” aggravated the holodeck invention date problem enough, but this episode contributes to it even more. Not only do we have Trip experiencing a holographic system, but he’s experiencing a holographic system with holographic people, along with his entire crew! That, and they get a long hard look at the technology too. Finally, unlike Ent: Unexpected, this episode doesn’t even have an excuse to show this kind of plot. Like Ent: “Civilization,” it could have been done on any other Trek series much more appropriately. Given all these problems and the horribly slow plot, I must declare this episode as the second biggest disappointment of the show.
#9. “Chosen Realm” from Season Three
This episode is a rehash of TOS: “Let That Be Your Last Battlefield.” While a decent episode to do over again, I should point out that this is yet another filler episode with nothing to do with the Xindi. In fact, this episode erases progress (literally) made in Ent: Anomaly by having D’Jamat delete data regarding the spheres from Enterprise’s computer. This annoys me greatly. Some other complaints, this episodes focuses entirely on Archer. Phlox and Reed get a good showing, but T’Pol, Trip, Hoshi, and Travis all get severely neglected. Fortunately, the episode manages to do fairly well for itself. The science vs. religion controversy is made very clear at the beginning of the episode and then the episode spends most of its time pointing out the hypocrisy and stupidity of religion as it proceeded further. If there was still any doubt that Star Trek was anti religion, that doubt is gone now. The demonstration culminates nicely at the end when Archer shows D’Jamat the result of his religious zealotry. I wonder if even that is enough to make him change. Furthermore, I wonder if Archer just left the Triannons on their planet after the episode ended.
#8. “Two Days and Two Nights” from Season One
So the crew of the Enterprise finally gets a chance to experience Risa. Aside from featuring very nice continuity, the episode is filled with irony. Trip and Reed go looking for women and find themselves mugged. Archer goes looking for a woman and finds himself interrogated and drugged. And Hoshi, the only person not looking for a companion, (she even expressed disgust at the entire idea…) ends up finding one and having a great time. It’s also kind of funny how Mayweather should suddenly need expert medical attention from Phlox right as Phlox decides he needs to hibernate. In fact, Phlox’ very brief scenes in this episode were probably the best parts. In the end, there’s a scene with Archer, Trip, Reed, and Hoshi all in a shuttlepod together having an awkward conversation about the “good time” they had. Archer, Trip, and Reed are covering for their naivety, while Hoshi is covering for her arrogance. None of them spent the time as they expected to.
#7. “Dawn” from Season Two
Well, they should have just named the episode Enemy Mine to complete the plagiarism! The alien makeup was similar to the movie, the premise was similar to the movie, and the plot was similar to the movie! Keeping the review a little more confined to Star Trek, the episode was also a bit like TNG: The Enemy. Despite the lack of originality, this was a very nice episode. Trip’s compassion for his would be sparring partner is commendable. I like how he threw away his weapon, which started a fight, then after he barely won the fight he threw away his weapon again! Even when Trip had the ability to escape, he stayed to make sure that Zho’Kaan would be all right. This episode nicely demonstrates human compassion. Perhaps the lack of human compassion is why the Vulcans never established good relations with the Arkonians in the past. While maybe not so original, the episode was most true to the spirit of Star Trek; nicely above average.
#6. “Dear Doctor” from Season One
liked this episode, but I hated its ethics. The (future) Prime Directive is shown as a rather arbitrary standard in this episode. Help is refused to a species that goes into space for the sole purpose of seeking help from alien civilizations. Just because they don’t have warp drive, they’re regarded as unworthy or something. Well, a strict interpretation of the Vulcan (and seemingly Denobulan) non interference policy allows for Archer’s actions to be correct. But we’ve seen even in the 24th century starship crews bending the rules for the greater good in exactly the fashion Archer refused to. There’s that, and the events of this episode aren’t at all consistent with the “to hell with a non interference policy” attitude taken in Ent: Civilization. What I really didn’t like about this episode was how Phlox developed a cure but refused to share it with the Valakians. I 100% agree with Archer about not letting the Valakians have warp drive, but why not cure their freaking plague?! Because Dr. Phlox just arbitrarily decided to let the Valakians die off because he THINKS the Menk might evolve into a better species? Isn’t this just a little racist? Isn’t making this kind of decision for the Menk exactly the kind of interference the Prime Directive prohibits? Maybe not giving the Valakians the cure was within the bounds of the future Prime Directive, but the way it was shown here was needlessly cruel and wholly hypocritical.
#5. “The Crossing” from Season Two
It’s remarkable how suspicious Archer is of the wisp aliens at first. As harmless as they looked, Archer just seemed so xenophobic about it all. This is all excused of course because of the fact that Archer’s instincts were correct. It annoyed me that when T’Pol found out the aliens’ true intentions, Archer doesn’t try to reason with the aliens, but instead exploits their weaknesses and destroys them. Maybe this is better for continuity and maybe this is more realistic for the 22nd century, but it was hardly in the spirit of Star Trek. The ethics are almost as questionable as is shown in Ent: Dear Doctor. There’s a decent helping of humor in this episode and the plot advances well. I enjoyed the reuse of the catwalk and I found the episode genuinely entertaining up until that seemingly Enterprise patented anticlimactic ending. Another disappointment.
#4. “Daedalus” from Season Four
A decent, though fairly average episode. The plot is rehashed from episodes like DS9: “The Visitor,” Voy: “Jetrel,” and Voy: “Year of Hell” in all of which a character struggles to bring someone back to life. It was a nice idea to bring the inventor of the transporter aboard for an experiment, but I was annoyed that he used deceit and subterfuge to hide his true motives. I would have preferred honesty from the beginning so the plot could focus on something more interesting. The metaphysical discussion about whether a person was still the same person and not some “weird copy” would have been a more interesting topic to cover. The plot to save Erickson’s son gains some extra points though thanks to the wonderful acting by all those involved, especially Bill Cobbs as Erickson. He did a marvelous job and really brought a dull episode to life. I would have liked to see him again. One thing I noticed was several long scenes with no musical score. It stuck out to me like a sore thumb, much to the episode’s disadvantage. Overall, a decent attempt.
#3. “North Star” from Season Three
Just when you think that this episode is gonna make some real progress, Bennings starts shooting people randomly! Then again, it’s not much of a Western cameo without a gunfight, is it? The action wasn’t excessive, only the timing was a bit strange. Then again, the episode was going too well to have the timing get much better. What I liked the most about this episode is the parallel to Voy: “The 37s.” The society Voyager discovered was a kind of new Earth founded on the other side of the galaxy. Like the people of this episode, the 37s overthrew their oppressors and created an independent society. The 37s though continued to evolve and didn’t suffer from the fear mongering that the people of this episode succumbed too. They weren’t as advanced as the Federation, but they were pretty advanced. In contrast, this society never grew out of the old west and had to be helped by the crew of Enterprise and eventually others from Earth. My only complaint about this episode is the timing. It has absolutely nothing to do with the Xindi. Why was it done? Between this episode and the last one, we’ve had two in a row that are technically filler, and we’ve not even seen very much advancement in the Xindi arc! Time shouldn’t be wasted in such fashion. If this episode had been done in season 1 or 2, and it showed us other Earth ships later arriving at this planet helping / relocating these people, it would have been worth more points.
#2. “Acquistion” from Season One
I suppose it was only a matter of time before something like this had to happen. Well, I’m not going to rant about how this episode tramples all over continuity like a fanatic at a convention, because with some rationalization it’s not so bad. With some more careful writing, it could have even been a great episode. I liked the detail showing the Ferengi whip, and I liked how Archer seems to have scared them all the way back to their homeworld. Knowing the Ferengi, who are driven by fear more than other species, they probably avoided Earth’s corner of the galaxy for a long time and once the Federation was formed they probably avoided that too until contact became absolutely necessary in TNG: “The Last Outpost.” That said, I’m not happy that the writers decided the Ferengi needed a cameo and that they did it in such a careless manner. In order to rationalize this episode, we’re forced to believe that these Ferengi were a very long way away from home and that records concerning this incident were not kept in very good detail. Both are distinct possibilities, so I’m just going to leave it at that. Continuity does suffer because of this episode though, and I’ve forced to mark it down thusly. When you stop caring about such things though and watch the episode for its raw merits, what you find is that its marvelously hilarious. Watch this episode to find the basis for Quark’s future “Vulcan Love Slave” holosuite program.
#1. “These Are The Voyages…” from Season Four
In interviews before this episode was aired, Rick Berman said, “One of the reasons we did it is we wanted to say kind of a ‘thank you’ to people who watched not only Enterprise but some of the other shows.” Brannon Braga was also interviewed about the episode and referred to it as a “valentine to all of Star Trek.” This is not a valentine, it’s an insult. Even Jolene Blalock (T’Pol) referred to the episode as “appalling” before it aired; I couldn’t agree more. First of all, this episode spends about one third of its time focusing directly on Riker and/or Troi in an episode that’s supposed to send off Enterprise. As if that weren’t bad enough, the whole justification for the TNG cameo was shoddy. TNG: “The Pegasus” wasn’t the most spectacular episode ever written, but it was solid, and didn’t need a coda. Aside from that, even the Enterprise-specific writing was annoying. Take Trip and T’Pol’s relationship for example. In Ent: “Terra Prime,” there was hinting that their relationship would finally go somewhere. But here we are 6 years later. Did it? Nope! Sorry! And if that weren’t bad enough, proverbially they kick a man when he’s down by abruptly killing Trip for absolutely no reason. He gets a shamefully unceremonious death all so Riker can learn some half assed lesson about not keeping secrets from Picard, which annoyingly stole the focus from the show so much so that we don’t even get to hear Archer’s speech during the signing of the Federation charter. Now, I don’t know about you, but I found the whole idea of Enterprise being decommissioned and the Federation being founded a lot more interesting than Riker’s edutainment. Troi even says Federation citizens must memorize the speech. But it’s not important enough for us to hear it here? Then there’s that space the final frontier line… why exclude Sisko and Janeway? Because their ships weren’t named Enterprise? Why not just let Archer do the line himself? The line tried to be touching, but came off as just as offensive as the rest of the episode. And there you have it… the worst finale a Star Trek series has ever had. Now, don’t get me wrong. The basic idea of the episode wasn’t too bad. I think the idea of bringing the TNG crew into a holographic NX-01 was a pretty damn good idea. It would have made a really great stand alone episode, perhaps even set on Riker’s new ship the Titan! But not as the finale. And I dare say, my biggest disappointment with Enterprise’s cancellation and rushed finale is that we never, ever got a sufficient prequel regarding the Earth-Romulan war and the start of the war with the Klingons, which, I dare say, was the whole goddamn point of this show. The Earth-Romulan war did supposedly occur in the interim 6 years, but there’s not even a single mention of it in this episode. A glaring omission. In the end, Enterprise was a great series with a great deal of potential (especially after Manny Coto took over as showrunner) that was killed off prematurely. And the sad thing is, thanks to this episode, it’ll never be revived and ended properly like TOS was. It’s an enormous shame that the last episode of Star Trek after an amazing 18 year uninterrupted run closes the incredible series on such a lackluster note.