April 1, 2005: I did actually add new
photos to "Those SHIRTS!"...
"the symmetry principle" is purely
in fun, and not meant to be disrespectful to Professor Hawking
in any way. He's been on TNG, Futurama, and The
Simpsons (not to mention there are some decently funny
lines in his books -- c'mon, "the black hole has no hair"?),
so I'd like to think he has enough of a sense of humor about
himself to appreciate the joke. And I had way too much
fun working on it.
April 8, 2005: One more week to new
episodes! Our last Extra of the break comes from a nearly
divine inspiration by Tripper: Dear
Shrannie, an advice column from our favorite Andorian.
(The outfit is from a conversation I had on the House of
Tucker BBS -- if Andorians in our universe wear black leather,
what would Mirror Universe Andorians wear?...)
Malcolm: Commander, that pistol
has two settings, stun and kill. It would be best not
to confuse them.
Trip: Ah'm aimin' at Berman and
Malcolm: Oh, all right then. Have
fun, and if you miss, miss low.
April 15, 2005: All right, I'll give
that a 7.5 on the annoying scale, which is better than I'd
hoped. A few laffs, several eyerolls, a clever if overly
PC way to make the oppressed Orion "Slave" Women
into emancipated power grrrrls, and not too much wincing
(or plot, for that matter). Archer gets a little -- and why
shouldn't he, really? -- and my goodness, Hoshi and Trav
got a sack of lines each! No SASTU either.
Regarding the SOEP: first, if the tone of their
interaction in the denouement was how they'd handled the
entire attempted T/T pairing, I wouldn't be nearly as pissed
about it. As it is, I'm completely poisoned on the two, so
I'll acknowledge that the actors did a nice job but that's
it. Secondly, for the first time I'm glad there's no Season
5, because I would have to slit my wrists before enduring
another season of this filmed fanfic. Oh, the giggly angst of
their denials and do-si-does around their true feelings!
Oh, how cute, they start picking up one another's
mannerisms! Oh, how convenient, she kythes his engineering
solution and he gets her (biological) immunity to pheromones!
Oh, how enlightened, he doesn't mind telepathic shackles
even though he didn't know what was going to happen before
their drugged fling and didn't consent to any such connection!
Oh, how tolerant, the man who used to think that T'Pol
was out to sabotage their mission doesn't mind her constant
presence in his head or having her know all his thoughts!
Oh, how fortuitous and how gracious, Trip already
requested a transfer back to Enterprise so they can
be together, and Hernandez didn't give him any grief
about it! It's every gushy fangirl dream, "we had sex
so now we fall in love" -- or worse still, "we
had sex and now we're inextricablylinked, we're joined,
we're one mind one heart one soul." It's a teenage
perspective, and the attitude of an inexperienced and starry-eyed
adolescent. That's not how grown-ups behave. It's really
pathetic. I'm sorry that Manny chose to handle it like this.
And nice way to casually blow off yet another
facet of what used to make Vulcans special: the bond. A Vulcan
bond is canonically forged either when two seven-year-olds
are bethrothed by arrangement of their families, or when the
couple is married as adults. To have it form "accidentally"
during quickie sex (when only one partner is Vulcan, even)
outside an acknowledged and committed relationship cheapens
the entire idea of the bond, not to mention all of Vulcan.
If Trip hadn't come back to Enterprise, what then?
What if either of them found someone else? Would they be stuck
with this third party hanging around? (Talk about an ex who
won't let go!) And just when it seems that T'Pol gets up on
her hind legs to confess an actual emotion without the use
of drugs, both of them dismiss "this
thing between us" as "no big deal." It's a
Vulcan marriage! It IS a big deal! Which means that T'Pol's
emasculation -- eVulcanization? -- is now complete. She's
just human now; there's no Vulcan left. She's Seven of Nine
with an ear job. How sad.
Onward. You know, D'Nesh, the Hot Trotter who
was all over Kelby, had a terrible New York City accent.
Look, half my siblings and most of my cousins have that awful
sibilant T and lack of timbre, so I know what I'm hearing.
Kinda cut down on her seductiveness if she sounds like the
love child of Marisa Tomei and the Jolly Green Giant.
And their chief seduction tactic was...playing
with their hair? Or was that just something to do with their
hands while their pheromones were chugging away? (Speaking
of which -- nice Deltan namedrop by Travis. And Gorn namedrop
by Hulk of Orion.) And of course there's not one gay
crewmember on board, male or female, who would react the
opposite of how the Hot Trotters expected.
I did like the unspoken "here there be
dragons" in the teaser -- very subtle but nice tie-in
to the Hot Trotters, as well as just a funny moment.
Garsh, Archer took a security detail with him
to an alien vessel! Including his Security Officer!
and left his first officer behind! I should check
the temperature of Hell before I go to bed tonight...
Kelby's reaction would only be understandable
if he was new to Enterprise. Anyone who'd ever served
with Trip for any amount of time would know he's not ambitious.
However, we do have a different problem. Trip has transferred
back at the end of the episode, so it appears Kelby's paranoia
was justified. Is Kelby going to go to Columbia now?
(And in a real show -- rather than one eviscerated for ads
and sex -- we would have actually seen Trip talking to Hernandez,
and got to see her reaction. I bet she would have ripped him
a new one.) Also, Trip tells Kelby that he's returning to Columbia, but he tells Polly that three days earlier
he'd requested the transfer back to Enterprise. So
which one did he lie to?
I demand to see Polly's Engineering degree.
That's all I'm sayin'.
I wasn't overly impressed with the Hot Trotting
choreography. If they were supposed to be in sync, they could
use some classes with City
Ballet (although there was a little Bob
Fosse going on). If they were showing off their flexibility,
I wouldn't bet on them getting any auditions with Cirque
du Soleil. Somehow I found Susan
Oliver more exotic, but I'm a traditionalist, I guess.
That dang dancing scene went on about a minute too long.
Yes, they're pretty, they're green, they're writhing around
mostly nekkid, Archer and Malcolm are reduced to slack-jawed
and drooling goobers with room-temperature IQs, we get the
idea. If I wanted to watch Britney Spears with body paint
I could tune back into UPN after the finale (which is about
as likely as a pine tree sprouting in the middle of the New
Fish-out-of-water scenes really set my teeth
on edge, so I'm glad they kept it down to one, although I
could have wished it hadn't been Malcolm. I know that as
the head of Security, he's part of the group getting the
Hot Trotters settled, but do they have to keep making him
look like an attention-starved nebbish?
Malcolm: Good lord, Travis,
how much are you lifting?
Travis: Two hundred kilos, give
Malcolm: With your tongue?
Travis: Well, I have to do something to
keep it from atrophying.
Gym scene: Damn! Montgomery has some serious
muscles going on. And Keating was positively delicious. (Hey,
I don't object to judicious skin, or appropriate deshabille;
it's when it becomes the focus of the character or plot to
the detriment of everything else that I complain.) I really
laughed at Trav's double-entendres, about idle hands and
his biceps getting a good workout from the presence of the
Deltan. But apparently his eyesight returned, so there's
nothing to worry about, right? ;)
So it was the girls who wanted the price on
Archer's head? and who run the Syndicate? They literally
have the men do their dirty work for them? I wonder if "the
Orion Syndicate" has evolved in DS9's time to the point
where there are less actual Orions running it and it's more
of an interspecies Mafia, or if we only saw that particular
arm of it. I mean, it's a cute way to stand the slavery idea
on its head, but I don't know if it holds up when you try
to thread it into the larger franchise.
Hair and Makeup ruffled Phlox's wig, so that
when Hoshi goes to see him he already looks a few sheets
to the wind before she even says anything. Nice touch.
At least the Bridge crew has finally gotten
accustomed enough to Archer getting possessed or brain-scrambled
that they recognize a colossally stupid order when they hear
one, and refuse to follow it. I was getting "Hatchery" flashbacks
(which is no picnic regardless of context) when he started
yelling about taking out the little science ship. For real
nuance, watch Keating's performance when Malcolm refuses
the order. He shifts ever-so-slightly away from his console.
Archer growls, "Lieutenant." He answers coolly, "Captain." Archer
reiterates his order. Malcolm hears it, acknowledges it with
a tiny nod, looks down to think about it, and then says "No" --
and looks away and crosses his arms. He has just enough spine
to defy the Captain, but not quite enough self-esteem to
challenge him with a glare. Perfectly in keeping with how
Malcolm allegedly grew up (with a taskmaster father) and
how he's grown on the ship. It takes less than thirty seconds,
but it's a nice little character slice. I hope Keating (and
Trinneer) get some good TV work on a show I can bear to watch.
(Or cast them as the new Bond and Felix!)
Now, since the Orions were dragged off, did
anyone check to see if there were really macguffinite deposits
on the planet? Was there enough to mine and use for the Starfleet
Trek as a franchise tends to be -- I don't
have the industry terms to describe it, maybe theatre-like?
in its staging. There's not often depth of focus in a room
(for example, other than Engineering, you rarely get a feel
of distance) and people tend to talk in tidy sequence. To
hear Archer and Kelby and Phlox all yelling at the
top of their lungs, and without any effort by the director
to guide us to hear one over another, was pleasantly jarring.
"I can see you're not that experienced
at making threats," says the Lead Trotter to Archer.
"Don't be too sure about that -- President Roslin stopped by for airlocking lessons," Polly pipes up...
I winced to see Trip shooting Malcolm, but
then he takes out Archer and Trav too, so it was for their
own good, I suppose. But once again, there are no NPCs on
the Bridge? The entire ship is run by those three or four?
What if Malcolm had to run off for something -- does he have
to wait until his relief makes it to Deck 1?
Food Chain intact. Recycled Trek Actor Checklist: Cyia
Batten (Navaar) played Ziyal on DS9's "Indiscretion" and "Return
to Grace," and was Irina in VOY's "Drive." William
Lucking (Hulk, aka Harrad-Sar) played Furel in DS9's "Shakaar," "The
Darkness and The Light," and "Ties
of Blood and Water." Next week starts the Mirror
Universe two-parter yay!
April 17, 2005: Since I've gotten a number
of questions about it,
I thought I should reiterate that yes, I intend to keep TripHammered
up indefinitely. I will be updating every two weeks, then
maybe once a month depending. I am working on a poll to allow
you my readers to tell me what you might be interested in
seeing in the years to come. And no matter what or how often
I post, I plan to keep the site up so that people coming to
ENT after the fact through DVDs or whatnot can enjoy it as
well. No worries; I'm not going anywhere for as long as you'll
April 22, 2005: <geek>OH MY GOD THAT WAS
Ah'm Commander Tucker
of the I.S.S. Enterprise, tellin'
you to join the Imperial Starfleet
today! See the universe! Conquer strange
new worlds and enslave new civilizations!
If you like killer politics and big
shiny weapons, Starfleet is right up
your alley! Join today! Now with recruiting
bonuses of your pick of your female
crewmembers, free knife (sharpening
not included), and major medical insurance
(reconstructive surgery and anti-radiation
treatment not covered).
seen that much scenery chewed since Alan
Rickman was the Sheriff of Nottingham. Politics
and double-dealing and skin and weapons and
TOS sets! Bring a drool towel, because I'm
just going to be slobbering for two weeks
over these eps. :D I can't begin to say how
much fun that was. Surprising cross-loyalties
(or actually almost no loyalties), which
is unlike, say, the badly-imagined alternate Voyager crew
from "Living Witness." Mirror Archer was somehow still
wimpy, or at least unwilling to shed blood.
Dr. Phloxenstein was merrily cackling away,
just as happy devising unusual torments in
this universe as he is meddling and healing in
ours. (He reminded me of the "ethics-subroutines-free" Holodocs
from VOY's "Equinox.") I wonder if he'll get to show his
nasty side next week? Major Reed of the MACOs still as the
Weapons Officer was a bit of a surprise,
as was Sergeant Mayweather
(who did get a promotion, although Mirror
Archer told him "don't talk," hee
hee). Mirror Trip's ruined face and stereotypically
Southern leer was a good play against type.
Blalock finally got to display the real reasons
they hired her, or at least the kids watching
ENT got to see what all the Maxim and FHM readers have
known for a while (I'm sorry, it's no fault
of hers, but the muscle formations on her
hips are just disturbing). Mirror Hoshi the
Captain's Woman gettin' double action! She
was almost as conniving as the Hot Trotters. (But I
can't believe Mirror Malcolm didn't get a
goatee and and eyepatch! sob)
The visuals were all excellent,
and you could see many tiny touches which
everyone spent time thinking about.
ENT logo of the ship over a pair of crossed swords on
the patches and the Nazilike epaulets and bandolier strap,
patch which had a skull, Mirror Phlox's black leather
outfit, Mirror Trav's Blade haircut and little gold hoop earring, Mirror Archer's and
Mirror Trip's nearly vertical crewcuts, Mirror T'Pol's unbound
long hair and
accent, Mirror Porthos the Rottweiler!
That is officially the first time I've sat through
the credits in two years. It was the very first time I didn't want
to jam my elbows in my ears when listening to it.
Reusing the clip from First Contact was extremely
clever. And, frankly, given the way things are today, that's more
likely to be how it happens for real than Cochrane's gentle awkward
It takes a Tough Imperial Captain like Mirror Forrest
to wear Smooth
Pink Satin. Actually, I didn't find him a convincing Imperial
Captain at all. Mirror Archer does a good
sneer (and of course he furrows like a
champ), and he has a certain amount of
practical ruthlessness when called for, but Mirror
Forrest is a desk jockey. But consistently
the Vulcans attach themselves to him -- Soval in our universe,
Mirror T'Pol here.
Mirror Archer: ...an'
then I'm gonna sock Rick Berman in
the jaw, and that should take him right
Mirror Malcolm: Here, borrow my brass
knuckles. One likes to be certain.
I know the guards are supposed to salute as the captain
walks by, but what happens when the perpendicular arm juts out into
the hallway and clotheslines the boss by accident?
There is actually a plot under all the fanboy squealing
-- there's a rebellion going on, a war which
is not necessarily going well. Who's rebelling?
Do we get to find out? Vulcans? (Whom I guess
are indentured servants of a kind? Otherwise
a slave couldn't hold rank, certainly not
Commander.) What's Mirror Archer's
motive for getting the advanced TECH? Will
it get him power and glory in
the Empire? Is there another motivation?
I thought it was a riot that we kept panning over animals
which Mirror Phlox was in the middle of dissecting...
Linda Park is really not a great actress. She pulls
off a few convincing lines, but for the most part she's kinda flat
in her delivery. Maybe that's the real reason she hasn't gotten any
I liked the Tholian! (Especially when he screeched boo at
Mirror Archer.) They kept the crystalline
face but added a spider-like body, which makes sense given the "webs" they then weave around
their victims. Poor Rubik got frozen until he shattered, like Wesley
Snipes in Demolition Man (hmm, that's two in one episode).
No SOEP in this universe! Mirror T'Pol used
Mirror Trip for relief from her pon farr, and is perfectly
happy to trick
him, brainwash him, and zap his Southern-fried ass to serve
Mirror Forrest. She actually turned out to be a better Vulcan
here than in our universe. Ruthless and barely scrupulous,
coldly logical and calculating. No experimenting, no uncertain
emotions leaking to the surface other than a slight ick when
Mirror Trip is leering over her shoulder. She chose her side
did whatever she felt was necessary to support it. Mirror
Forrest assigns her to Mirror Archer's assassination and
she acknowledges it with the barest nod and flicker of eyes.
aware of her sexuality, and uses it as a weapon like any
in her arsenal. (A bit more on that below.) Mirror T'Pol owns herself. Also, the social criteria seem to be different here
-- she doesn't have other Vulcans keeping track of whether
her emotions are showing, she doesn't have to report to superiors
at the High Command, there's no shame attached to mind-melding.
When nobody's making you doubt parts of yourself, you can
accept all of yourself for who you are, and that's what
T'Pol has done.
Okay, Bakula in bare feet and short sleeves? Muy
Mirror Trip squints at the screen showing the Defiant and
rasps "You can barely see anything!" Well, open your eyes
-- oh wait, you can't! My bad.
The NCC-1764 is in fact the Defiant which was
lost during TOS's "The
Tholian Web." Sussman was paying attention. I would say
that the web from the TOS episode came from the aft of their ships
and this one from the front, but the two webs may not have done the
same thing, and this one was smaller, detachable, and assembled much
faster, so we'll let it go.
AHAHAHAHAHAHA redshirt dead in the hallway!
the complement of phase cannons, three times
as many torpedoes, I get to walk around
with a rifle at my hip, and the armoury
lockers carry Holy Hand Grenades. I
swear I've died and gone to heaven.
Trip: Cap'n Archer and T'Pol are still
Malcolm: Yes, but in this
universe we're encouraged to
commit mutiny and to advance
Trip: Ah think Ah could
get to like it here.
Mirror Malcolm practically begging Mirror Archer to
let him have the TOS pistol snicker. In any universe, Mal's
a gun nut. (Although in the Mirror Universe,
he might only be waiting for the right moment
to shoot Mirror Archer in the head, rather
than just my jokes about mutiny!) He did
rather get off on torture, though, whether
smugly studying the Tellarite in the agony booth or watching
avidly over Mirror Phlox's shoulder as they
interrogated Rubik. (It's consistent with
this universe, so that's not a complaint, just a personal
Moogie wanted to know where they found the geek who
recreated the entire NCC-1701 Bridge in his
garage so they could film there... (In a
later podcast, Sussman revealed that they did get the prop of the
viewfinder at Sulu's station from a fan.)
Things which seemed to be out of character for the
Mirror Universe: Mirror Archer saying to
the crew "I know I can count
on you." The Mirror Starfleet women show everything from the
top rib to the Brazilian border -- even though
they have long sleeves --
but the Mirror MACO women don't. Mirror Hoshi
apologizing for hurting Mirror Archer's feelings
when she left him for Mirror Forrest. Mirror
Forrest's surprise and insult over Mirror
Archer's mutiny. I guess in the end
these people have to form some alliances
and friendships or they'll never get anything done, but still --
it kinda takes the fun out of these vacations, where we get to see
everyone acting like complete homicidal sex-fiend maniacs.
I found it surprising how much the changed outfits
and hair really affected my perception of
the characters. Mirror Archer, Mirror Trip,
and Mirror Trav all looked meaner with the
new 'dos. Mirror Phlox's quasi-Cardassian
outfit lent him a nice Mengele patina. Just
watching Mirror T'Pol's face, her performance
was almost unchanged from
previous weeks, but the
long hair and darker lipstick and breezy
uniform somehow softened it so that I didn't
object to it. Was it that this getup is actually
the proper context for her emoting, like
Six on BSG? A sexualized character should
act and dress sexily. A character who isn't
made of lust should dress more demurely.
Maybe it's the dissonance (emotional catsuited
Vulcan) which constantly grates, and she's
so far out of her normal mode here that the
emotional overtones aren't such a sharp contrast.
Watching her hips swivel when she's wearing
an outfit designed to show off her body -- and when every other Starfleet
woman is wearing the same outfit -- is somehow less irritating than
her hips swivel in a catsuit which is trying
to pretend to be a military uniform (which nobody else wears). I
guess it's more honest to be
openly trampy than play coy about being naughty.
Food Chain narrowly intact. No Recycled Trek Actors.
Eagerly awaiting next week!
April 29, 2005: Oh, man, that was even more
jaw-dropping than last week! I could quit watching the series now and
be totally satisfied. What a knockout. (And we got to hear Majel's
voice! The computer replied "Working" twice, and they must've
dubbed her sound effect. The legacy is complete.) This could have been
a three-parter with all the Rebellion plotline going on, plus Mirror
Archer actually dissolving into the schizophrenia of which I've accused
our own captain. This does show why a series set in this universe would
never work, of course -- either people couldn't actually be that homicidal,
or we'd never have a steady cast.
Gee, your hair smells terrific.
The cinematography was absolutely gorgeous.
The silhouette scene in the captain's quarters was astonishing,
both for everything we could imply from sounds and outlines
and for the technical perfection of not letting a gleam show
on the actors. (And IMHO that was twenty times sexier than
all the SOEP scenes from the last four years combined.) Loved
the TOS ship recreation with all the brightly-colored tubes
and pipes and enormous lights and big blocky props! Soval
looked extremely cool in the beard. They had the swoopy lights
under the viewscreen! :D Moogie thought there was something
wrong with the wraparound tunic which Archer was wearing --
the fold-under showed too much seam -- but it really showed
off Bakula's shoulders. And Montgomery! Dag, he's had nothing
to do for four years but work out, and it shows.
Sort of weird how several characters went off
into left field from last week's performances. Blalock couldn't
hold her Ruthless act together; take her out of the belly
shirt and she's back to overemoting, quavering voice, and
big dewy eyes. (Maybe it's just the uniforms. In the Mirror
Starfleet outfit, she was steady, calculating, and logical
even in a fight. In the TOS miniskirt, she was helpless and
emotional. Deliberate?) Mirror Trip's leer was gone. Mirror
Phlox was barely distinguishable from our own, other than
Mirror Soval's hint about concubines (and given Denobulan
customs, that's still not much of a stretch). Mirror Archer
showed all the bloodthirst I thought was missing in part 1.
Were the directors that different in their styles?
Rather remarkable how the Mirror ENT crew was
able to jump right into the Defiant's TECH with barely
a learning curve, wasn't it? Yeah, yeah, Mirror Trip made
noises about not knowing what some of the systems did, but
that was typical engineer smoke-blowing.
Yes, those submarines in the new credits are from The
Hunt for Red October, which is a Paramount film. (Moogie thought
there might have been a clip from Top Gun too, which is also
Paramount.) Do we have to go back to "Faith of the Heart"?
SFX nitpick: don't TOS ships have red phasers, not blue?
Despite the illogic of excess facial
hair, I find this beard to be strangely compelling.
Perhaps I shall attempt to establish "a fashion."
It was actually kind of clever that peaceful,
successful (::cough::way overdone::cough::) Federation
Archer would "haunt" violent, self-doubting Mirror
Archer, who only knew how to get ahead through plotting and
promotion by attrition. He'd never earned anything, so he
didn't feel like he deserved it or could get anything else
without taking it or stealing it. Mirror Archer had plenty
of swagger, and this week he most certainly showed he wasn't
afraid of spilling blood to put his credits where his mouth
was, but all the yelling didn't make up for the lack of, dare
I say it, faith in himself? Just before Mirror Trip restores
the power which Mirror Phlox took out, the scene cuts to the
Bridge, and Mirror Archer is literally rocking back and forth
and pounding his head in anguish that his chance is slipping
away. Our Archer may need intermittent spine implants, but
even in his darkest days in the Expanse he never let his despair
show like that. Mirror Archer has to threaten, with words
and weapons and getting into Mirror T'Pol's space until he
could lick off her lipstick, because all his power is seized,
not given; our Archer's crew follows him willingly (if not
always sensibly). Mirror Archer sneers that real men don't
make peace, but perhaps deep down he's ashamed that his compassionate
doppelganger got farther than he has. It's apparently what
begins his drive towards the Imperial throne.
Another 47 reference -- glad to see that in-joke squeak
in again under the finish line...
I was much more impressed with Linda Park in this episode.
Granted that they gave her lots more to do, but her slinky, seductive
plotting was smooth and believable, rather than being interspersed with
flat line readings.
Poor Kelby can't catch a break in either universe. First
Trip steals his promotion, then the Hot Trotter brainwashes him in smellovision,
and now he's been eaten by a CGI Gorn!
I guess the Blue Weepies were slaves of the Tholians? Since
they can't function in a Terran-comfortable environment, they buy slaves
to do salvage work? (And not for anything, but between this and "Future
Tense," they've done a nice job setting up the Tholians to be the
heavies of a future Trek installment.) Bakula pressed a little too hard
on the actor's latex head, because as he pulls his hand away you can
see the rubber flexing back out.
I was actually sort of hoping for a guy in a suit to play
but they just won't do that sort of thing these days. On the other hand,
I really liked hearing the translated human voice overlaying the Gorn
Tell me the truth -- this full-size greenscreen
display makes me look fat, doesn't it?
Okay, what was with the swishy gestures as Mirror
Mal's stalking the Gorn? He all but pranced into the hallway
like Austin Powers playing Flash Gordon. And the flourish
as he flipped open the communicator -- I don't whip my hand
around that much to open my cell phone. Poor Mirror Mal --
he looked visibly disappointed when Archer set up the trap
so that the Gorn would end up getting shot by the captain,
and then he was left to die ignomiously in the hallway after
gasping "I've failed you, Captain." And not
for anything, but if you're trying to sneak up on something
intelligent, don't you want a detection device which doesn't
beep like a video game on tilt?
At least when Mirror Super Archer Saves The Universe, he
knows enough to bring backup and plenty of firepower... Not to mention
using the gravity plating selectively to pin the thing to the ground
is actually pretty clever.
So the Terrans have enslaved the Vulcans, Tellarites, Denobulans,
and Andorians, and the Empire is now fighting rebels from varying combinations
of those species? The Defiant took out that ringship without hardly
blinking. (Where were they during the Vulcan civil war, dang it?)
Mirror Admiral Black pretty much sealed his
death warrant when he says "A most impressive vessel... Commander." How did he get to be an Imperial Admiral
and not recognize ambition when it crashes his party? Rubbing
Mirror Archer's nose in his lower rank and refusing him a
field promotion was stupid. He should have at least tried
some empty promises to win Mirror Archer's allegiance for
the moment -- told him that he could bring the Defiant into Sol sector, for example, and then let someone else take
it away from him.
Unfortunately, putting the Avenger and the Defiant side-by-side
only showcased how much cooler the ENT-era SFX look compared to 1960s
visuals. Not that it could be helped, but the comparison elicited a wince.
Th-th-th-that's all, folks!
Now, if the Hot Trotter was in a Starfleet uniform,
and Mirror Archer referred to Vulcans as slaves, does that
mean that slaves can earn military rank? Why would you give
a slave military training and responsibility? Also, are the
pheromones something which can be turned on and off, or is
everyone so hypersexed that a little more casual boot-knocking
is hardly noticeable?
Mirror Archer got more action in this episode
than our Archer has gotten in the whole series. And Mirror
Hoshi! Sleeping her way right to the top! (Loved the catfight
lines -- "I'm surprised you're not exhausted from all
the beds you've jumped into recently." "Commander
Tucker told me I should give you a few pointers in that area.")
Food Chain kept afloat. Recycled Trek Actor
Checklist: Gregory Itzin (Admiral Black) was on
DS9 as Ilon Tandro in "Dax"
and "Hain in "Who
Mourns for Morn?", on VOY as Dr. Dysek in "Critical
Care," and Captain Sopek in "Shadows of P'Jem."
Side notes: Congratulations to Connor Trinneer,
who told an Australian convention that he and his bride are expecting
their first child in October. And Black Holer would like to let everyone
know that the Hawk-man will
be doing another guest spot on "The Simpsons" this Sunday night.
May 6, 2005: Yawn. Boy, I knew the Mirror Universe
was a tough act to follow, but I wasn't expecting quite such a
precipitous slide into mediocrity. How sad is it when a bigoted zealot
threatens to annihilate huge numbers of people and it's just boring?
Trip: Jeez, this is boring.
Can we go now?
Archer: Two more episodes after this.
Hoshi: We were so much more interesting
in the other universe.
Trip: Talk about addin' insult to injury.
Malcolm: I have an audition with the
James Bond producers next week, Mister Tucker.
Perhaps you'd like to join me? I understand
they're recasting Felix as well.
Trip: Ah'll buy you lunch and we'll make a day
There was a whole chunk of boring going on, in fact. (Or
not going on, as the case may be.) Our crew was being overlooked by Mayor
Minister, Travis and his former bootknock had all the spark of a wet
dishrag (and half its acting talent), there was no real sense of urgency
or worry caused by the xenoranting, blah blah blah murder by numbers
blah bah secrets and spies blah blah forced "banter" between
two characters who have no chemistry no matter how badly Manny wants
it blah blah Section 31 blah blah blah. The few spots which weren't utterly
soporific either didn't make much sense or were fanboy connect-the-dots.
Manny kinda crapped out on this one. He doesn't do well with zealots; "Chosen
Realm" was his first ENT script and that was a snoozer too. I didn't
care in the least what was going to happen next (what we weren't predicting
it before it happened, that is), I wasn't engaged in the alleged conflicts,
I wasn't interested in the villains or what the heroes were doing about
them. Not with a bang but a whimper, huh?
Polly's outfit has a different collar in the opening scenes.
A new formal catsuit, perhaps?
Okay, so who told RoboBigot about the SOEP? And why should
he care? He would have to have done some serious psychological studies
of these two to assume that they'd both drop everything to run after
a child. And as far as T'Sprog being "an abomination," a beautiful
healthy pointy-eared infant is not what you want as a poster child
for booting aliens off the planet. If anything, it would be the awwwwwwww heard
'round the world. Fortunately, evil overlords seldom have three-digit
Lovely shot of San Francisco at night.
On a real show -- rather than one eviscerated for ads and
sex -- there would have been, oh, a half-second of discussion about
Malcolm going back to protoSloan. And when he evidently tacitly agrees
to get "back in the game" by continuing to grill protoSloan,
there's no followup. No worries, no agonized looks, no throwaway lines
to Archer. La la la, I wrenched myself out of the KGB by sheer force
of will but I'll just toddle back in now without so much as an eyebrow
Warning: any time someone tells you "the [insert name
here] investigators are extremely competent, so I suggest you let them
do their jobs and not interfere with an investigation of your own," you
can just take it as fact that the speaker is part of the conspiracy hiding
whatever's being investigated.
Since there was so little of interest going
on, I may as well list all the inter-franchise highlights:
The United Earth Space Probe Agency medallion on the floor
during the opening speech (UESPA was the precursor to Federation
Starfleet, and before things were straightened out canonically,
it was occasionally synonymous with Starfleet in TOS). The
Coridan, looking like a Breen with a nutmeg-mace
shell on his face. Colonel Green, one of the baddies of
the Trekiverse about whom we really only know that he was
a homicidal nutcase involved in a war, getting some context.
Andorians and Denobulans and Tellarites, oh my!
I find it a little disturbing that the mining facility
is called Orpheus;
in Greek myth, he goes to the underworld to retrieve his wife Eurydice,
but at the last second he doubts and turns and loses her back to Hades.
Does that mean that nothing actually gets produced out of the mine? (or
is that deliberate because it's a front for RoboBigot?)
Travis has gotten so little character development that
during all his scenes with the reporter, I was thinking stuff like "Is
the actress white or a very light-skinned black woman? Why did both she
and Mirror Hoshi leave their lingerie on to have sex? I hope she has
a gyroscope stabilizer in that headcam, 'cause if not, she's shooting
combat footage with the way she's jumpin' around, and all her viewers
are going to be sick. I can't believe they named the reporter Gannett after
the news organization. No wonder Travis hasn't gotten many plots; Montgomery
The one time I did feel for anyone was when Trip was talking
to Phlox. You can see that he's trying to convince himself to accept
that this child could be his -- asking about her health, looking for
explanations, Daddy always wanted a granddaughter. Since no Trek child
conceived by macguffin ever survives, I predict the poor boy is going
to have the heart torn right out of his chest next week, either when
they determine that the baby isn't actually his or when she dies.
Why would anyone have doubted Polly's word? She can't conceal
an extra helping of Vichyssoise in those catsuits, never mind a pregnancy.
And some fabulous trust these two have with each other, when he genuinely
thinks, for however long, that she might have become pregnant
and hid it from him. Deathless romance my ass.
Again the Vulcan bond is spat upon. How can a telepath
form a bond with someone when neither of them wants it? Just how
badly did the Thrillerium screw with her neurons? It's at least back
in character for Trip to resent having his ex-girlfriend snooping around
his private thoughts and emotions. Nimoy is probably sitting shiva
for his adopted race.
Hey, Hoshi got to show off some smarts! I guess she has
to start earning that bio Sussman wrote for her last week.
Didn't RoboBigot's mining facility ship look a little like
the middle slice of Deep Space Nine? (I admit I was sort of expecting
it to glow and start calling to its mate in space....)
And you know what? It's still a
bad thing to land a starship.
Food Chain intact (at least Trip finally got the crew to
start drinking espresso). Peter Weller (Paxton) doesn't have other Trek
credits, but he's well-known as the title character from RoboCop.
Harry Groener (Samuels, aka Mayor Minister) was Tam Elbrun in TNG's "Tin
Man" (no really!) and an unnamed Magistrate in VOY's "Sacred
Ground" (as well as playing the Mayor on Buffy). Steven
Rankin (Colonel Green, played previously by
Phillip Pine) was Patahk in TNG's "The
Enemy," a Cardassian officer in DS9's pilot,
and Yeto in DS9's "Invasive
Side note for next week: As there are two episodes
-- and we're talking about the finale -- I will be spreading out my updates
over the weekend, probably with first thoughts Friday night and then
more detailed comments Saturday and/or Sunday. "Terra Prime," airing
at 8pm, is the ENT finale, and "These Are the Voyages," following
it at 9pm, is the franchise finale. Detailed
spoilers for TATV are available if you want to read them.
May 13, 2005: That was the biggest, lamest piece
of shit I have ever seen in my life. I can't begin to express my frustration.
What happened to the Star Trek of Gene's legacy? What happened to the
sweeping, uplifting storyline? What happened to the promise of a bright
and tolerant future? How could Trip die for a speech which we don't
even get to hear?
My TATV comments are below. Right now I'll focus on "Terra
Prime," which wasn't any great shakes as an ENT finale either. (But
at least we got to hear the damn speech!)
Malcolm: It's not under here either,
Travis: Damn! I know had a career around
Malcolm: Do you recall where you might have seen
Travis: My grandfather's jazz club.
Malcolm: Best to retrace your steps
and look for it there, then.
The action is mostly what saves this. I was so numb and
angry about ENT's ending that I couldn't appreciate Connor's performance
in the last scene until I went back several hours later for screencaps,
but you can tell he's giving it a thousand percent. He was choking up
right there on camera, weeping real tears, his eyes red and devastated.
I so hope he gets another show which truly appreciates his enormous
I still don't buy the idea that an infant would
be an appropriate scare image. For all anyone knows, that
was a Vulcan child. They have only RoboBigot's word on her
mixed heritage. A seven-year-old spouting propaganda would
have been much more frightening.
And let's take a moment to think about this
plot which led to the baby's creation. In fact, let's take several moments. Let's say the Earth-First
group existed to some extent before the Xindi attack, because
there are always xenophobes in any society, but the attack
galvanized them into a more concrete organization. In the
month or so it took Enterprise to return to Terra,
RoboBigot comes up with this idea: he's going to create a
hybrid child to frighten Terrans into rejecting aliens. (We'll
put aside the rampant stupidity of the concept for the purposes
of discussion. Clearly the writers did.) Now, there already are aliens on Terra.
Vulcans have a sizeable population, and the UESPA meeting
had a whole boatload of other species' ambassadors. You've
got Breen, Denobulans, Andorians, Tellarites, who knows what
else. The Vulcan compound can't be that hard to get
into, and there are many individuals who work outside the
public sector and therefore have no security. So there are
lots and lots of people (aliens) available to filch DNA from.
Remember, because of the Trek TECH, we're not talking literal
sperm and egg donations, just a blood sample. And yet RoboBigot
thinks the best way to get DNA for his hybrid horror is to
wait for the flagship of Starfleet to return from deep
space, sneak someone past regular Starfleet security, the
extra security put on in the wake of the attacks, and Malcolm's
kids to get to Phlox's lab where there might be DNA
samples on file of the one Vulcan on board out of 83
people. (It's even less possible to believe that he'd already
have an agent on the inside, as a member of the crew, because
what xenophobe would get past the psych testing, score at
the top of the top of all the schooling and testing and training,
and then choose to enter Starfleet to go explore strange new
worlds alongside aliens?) And recall that Enterprise is returning to Terra to get instructions about their mission
into the Expanse, which is quite possibly a suicide run. What's
the point of getting DNA from individuals who are turning
around to head out on a mission from which they might not
come back? How does maligning the dead accomplish RoboBigot's
So the goon gets into Phlox's lab and grabs
samples. Why the Vulcan? Vulcans' only outward physical
difference from Terrans is pointed ears. Their major social
difference is their lack of emotional display. Why not the
Denobulan? They have massive facial ridges -- which inflate
-- and lumbar flaps, ninety-yard tongues, talon-like toenails,
and skeeve-inducing grins. They're poly-poly-poly-polygamous.
And this particular Denobulan is responsible for the health
and well-being of the flagship of the fleet. Wouldn't discrediting
him accomplish more? Make people afraid that "they're
going to breed us out"? (And we know that Denobulans
can interbreed with somebody, because Phlox had a half-
or quarter-breed offspring running around E2, so it's not
a DNA incompatibility issue.)
Okay, they grab the Vulcan female's DNA. Why
Trip's? There was nothing going on between Trip and T'Pol
at the end of S2, nor even any rumor thereof. This is important to establish. This medical work had to have started around the time of the Xindi attack, if not even earlier, in order for the baby to be six months old at the time of this episode. At the end of S2, these two officers and colleagues, privately and publicly, were only a step or two below hostile. No matter what happened during S3, none of that information -- not rumors, not hints, not gossip, not misinterpretations, nothing -- would have been publicly available to Terra during the year that Enterprise was in the Expanse. And even if the least stray comment had somehow been blown out of proportion by the tabloids, Trip and T'Pol were already offworld and out of the reach of Terra Prime's scientists, who would have needed months (years, really) of groundwork to create a never-before-attempted interspecies hybrid. If this ep had aired instead of, oh, "Bounty," would anyone have heard RoboBigot's sneering "Romeo and Juliet" jabs as anything other than sarcastic? Would anyone have expected the pointy-eared tyke to be Trip's in particular and not Archer's? Or anyone else's at random? What point would
there have been in stealing the DNA of two people who happened to work together? Why not Archer and T'Pol, to discredit the
captain? Why not T'Pol and Mayor Minister, for that matter?
Her presence on the ship on the Expanse mission was questionable
anyway, since she was no longer a VHC representative but not
in Starfleet either -- just a Vulcan civilian with "special
Fine, maybe "Tucker" was the closest
male alphabetically (although again, if they're just blood
samples and not haploid cells, why not two females?) and the goon was in a hurry.
RoboBigot's gengineers fumble around in the lab for a few
months and create this hybrid zygote. Who carried her? In
an organization of rabid alien-haters, they got someone to volunteer to gestate a half-Vulcan child? And since
Vulcans' lifespans are approximately twice Terrans', wouldn't
it have been like a 13-month pregnancy? I don't think even
in TNG's time there are artificial wombs, the Borg maturation
chamber from VOY's "Drone"
notwithstanding (since the mobile emitter was from the 29th
At length they have T'Sprog. Enterprise has returned from the Expanse, if not covered in glory then
at least earning the gratitude of those who aren't dead from
further Xindi assault. RoboBigot was clearly planning to use
T'Sprog as a hostage against Trip's behavior. What if either
or both DNA donors had died in the Expanse? What if Trip had
died but Sim had lived in his place? What if Trip had chosen
to stay on Columbia? For that matter, how could RoboBigot
have guaranteed that Trip and Polly themselves would have
come looking for her, rather than Archer sending a crack intelligence
team? What if T'Sprog had died before the conference?
And just in case you thought this couldn't quite get any stupider, how are we introduced to this entire house of cards? A medical tech rushes up to Polly and gasps "They're going to kill her... don't let them." So Robo's Bigots have gone through more than a year of skullduggery, genetic manipulation, medical miracles, and political plotting in order to create this crossbreed chimera, and their grand plan is to... murder her? To prove what exactly? To accomplish what exactly?
It was just bad writing. This wasn't thought
through at all, or it was a three-parter so savagely cut down
to a two-parter that we might as well have not bothered. And
this was by the Reeves-Stevenses and André Bormanis!
What the hell was going on in that writing room? Couldn't
we have had fun on Stratos instead? Or another Mirror Universe
RoboBigot looked like he might have been on
the way to being complex, especially when he started talking
about how his father built the lunar colony from the ground
up, but his casual dismissal of his own genetic faults --
"I'm not the first significant leader to fail to measure
up to his own ideals" -- is a crock of garbage. He's
a fanatic. There was no personal profit or power or political
motive ever even hinted at. He's obsessed with racial purity,
to the point of creating a hybrid just to show how much of
an abomination she is. And Weller plays him without any affect,
which makes him a strangely toothless fundamentalist. Real
nutjobs have the fervid light of insanity in the back of their
eyes, and a little spit-froth lurking at the corners of their
mouths. This guy was as agitated as a judge sentencing a scofflaw
to highway cleanup for unpaid parking tickets. He was starting
to talk a good game about genetic blurring making a given
race "a footnote in some medical text," but then
it got lost. (If he'd ever met Daniels, or the mongrel from
the Magical Mystery Pod, he would have crapped himself.)
Moogie says: okay, so the array fires its Beam O'Death
at a passing ship. Let's say it misses. It's a pretty big Beam O'Death,
got plenty of energy and nothing in space to slow it down. How far is
that Beam O'Death going to go before it burns out? What if it hit Terra?
Or a Terran ship? Or one of RoboBigot's ships?
How did Mayor Minister get the job? He's far
too milquetoast to be leading a planetary council. You need
somebody like Lawrence
Fishburne or Viggo
Mortensen to handle the job of administrating an entire
The room where T'Sprog is being held is numbered 03-47...
Another potential S5 arc shot to hell when protoSloan smirks
that Mal's being an "optimist" about never seeing him again.
I would just as soon have not revisited Section 31 anyway, so I'm not
crying over that. But really, did they need Black Ops to tell the officers
on the flagship of the fleet that the security grid is weak in spots?
Harry Kim would have found that out in about five minutes.
An internet pundit once commented on the folly of real
interstellar hybrids, explaining that life which developed on another
planet would of necessity be so different from anything on Terra that
it would be easier for a human to have offspring with a dog than with
an alien. (Which is the other reason they let Archer back home from time
to time, because after a year chasing the Xindi, Porthos was starting
to look good.)
And why the hell didn't they use the Suliban cell ship
with the cloak?! That would have allowed them to land on RoboBigot's
porch if they'd wanted to. Of course, that wouldn't have allowed them
to find the convenient sabotage which pointed to Ensign Nameless Traitor.
(And not for anything, but when Kelby first shouted down instructions
to that guy, he was standing at the warp core, and Moogie and I looked
at each other and both commented how very much the actor looked like
Trip, even down to copying the hairstyle.)
Trav's little speech to Reuters in the Brig
took the prize for Worst Acting of the Hour. Damn, any more
wooden and my eyeballs would have gotten splinters. AT, stick
with jazz. Television is clearly not your gig.
Okay, I just laughed when Trip socked the goon right in
his gleaming jaw. He's so charmingly hot-headed, and yet he used the
momentary delay tactically to rearrange wires. That's our brilliant engineer
boy -- never mind what that fool holodeck recreation says. Sorry, getting
ahead of myself again...
Mal using the airsickness bag hee hee hee I'm glad they
kept that little bit of characterization to the end.
Where does Polly find the time to get a French manicure and keep
it flawless? Maybe she goes to Mott's great-great-great etc. grandmother.
So they throw Trip into a brig of some kind, and he has
to break out. And the musical guy decides to score the scene as...an
electronica dance club moment? No, go back and listen. I swear the background
music was about to break into "Disco Inferno." Strange goofy
grin Trip gives the little doodad he uses to MacGyver the
lock, too. (And didja notice? Even though they threw him towards the
camera, when he falls...Trinneer splays his legs. Consistent to the last!)
We just howled over the Carl Sagan monument. See, that's a
Hoshi should've thrown Mayor Minister's sniveling butt
off the Bridge. She had a job to do and he was getting in her way.
Boy, no wonder all the whales were dead by Kirk's time
-- RoboBigot blasted the bejesus out of San Francisco Bay!
Did Polly really need to name the dying child after Trip's
dead sister? Isn't that kinda asking Fate to kick you in the head?
And since she got to hold the kid while they were on Mars, why can't
Trip cuddle with her for a minute or two? And why didn't Phlox mention
Lorian? It was established at the end of that episode that the crew remembered
their AU-future counterparts, and Lorian made it explicitly clear that
Phlox used some mediTECH to create the Vulcan-human hybrid. He or Trip
should have brought that up in comparison to T'Sprog's conception at
I was sort of disappointed that Kelby wasn't the
bad guy. It would have made more dramatic sense. But then, why isn't
Kelby Chief Engineer of Columbia? 'Cause that would have made
more narrative sense. But I digress...
I thought it was an interesting tactical/diplomatic move
that Soval -- the Vulcan -- stood to start the applause after Archer's
speech, to "break the ice" and give the others a leader to
follow. It was doubly important given the history his species and government
has of holding the Terrans back until they were "ready."
Polly looked lovely and regal in the Vulcan robes. Pity
they never let T'Pol wear them.
Food Chain intact. Recycled Trek Actor Checklist: Joel Swetow (Ambassador Thoris) was Yog in TNG's "Firstborn"
and Gul Jasad in DS9's pilot,
and did voice work for the video games Armada, Armada II,
and Elite Force.
hee hee Zeke, you just rock. I look forward to many years
of laughs from you, your staff, and your contributors.
On to "These Are the Voyages..." This
is quite long, so get comfortable.
Now, lest I be accused of unfairness, I want
to make something clear at the outset. Rick Berman and Brannon
Braga created ENT. They came up with the concept. They invented
these characters we've come to love. Without them, we wouldn't
be sitting here discussing these episodes, or Trip himself.
They also, together and separately, have done some great
work over the years with Trek. They wrote or came up with
the idea for several S1 episodes I adored, some S2 episodes
I liked, many VOY episodes, and some good TNGs. So
credit where credit is due. Not everything these two have
done is bad, and I want to acknowledge that right up front.
This is not one of their "good" efforts.
In saying that, I am critiquing this script, the same
way that while I enjoyed "Babel One/United" by
André Bormanis and the RSs, I did not like "Demons/Terra
Prime," written by the same folks. I may be very loudly
and passionately upset by this script, but I want it to be
understood that I'm bitching about this episode and
how it relates to the rest of the show. There's no wholesale
tarring-and-feathering of the Bs going on here. Liking or
disliking one piece of work, or several, does not constrain
me to feel the same way about the person's entire body of
work. I have taken the same approach to Manny Coto, to the
acting of the various cast members, and to the writing of
the episodes over the course of the entire three years I've
been running my site. Of course I have favorites, but even
the favorites make mistakes, and even those whom I don't
enjoy can produce something of value. Are we all on the same
My gut reactions to TATV were anger, disbelief,
and astonishment. Moogie and I frequently found ourselves
laughing over the absolute absurdity of what we were seeing,
because it was so incomprehensibly bad. Frakes and
Sirtis are severely out of practice in playing these characters,
and while Makeup put in a heroic effort, they have aged 10
years since the framing TNG episode "The
Pegasus" aired, and it's visible. Both of them seemed
more interested in (and amused by) the idea that they were
back on the Paramount stage in costume than they were about
getting into their characters and giving honest portrayals.
It was like Sirtis was barely containing her delighted snickers
at playing the TNG game again. Her accent was much more of
her natural British than Troi's stylized Betazed. Frakes
seemed like he was literally trying to shrink himself back
into Riker's outline from S7 TNG, which he's emotionally
outgrown in the movies.
I think Blalock threw her game, because her
performance was so terrible it had to be deliberate. She
was practically a parody of herself, and considering that
in the last few eps (less the Mirror Universe) they turned
T'Pol the Vulcan into Polly the human, it's a real stretch
to parody that! Almost everyone behaved strangely out-of-character.
Trip was panicking and making broad gestures and going back
to stereotypical Southern stuff as though he were back in
Season 1, Malcolm loses his best and dearest friend of 10
years and is mostly concerned with his stadium seating, Hoshi
says Trip can barely speak English. The longer it went on,
the more surreal it became. There were the barest handful
of lines or gestures which felt genuine to our people. Commander
CameraHog's constant presence was jarring -- I would finally
get into the story, and he'd show up again in the
background and throw me back out of it. Both TNG characters
were condescending and self-important. I don't remember them
being that way back in the day. Or maybe they were, and it
was okay back then because we had no other modern cast to
which to compare them.
I think ultimately I have to write this off
as not merely a bad holodeck episode, but as godawful fanfiction.
In interviews, the Bs stated they were trying to create a
thread to pull all the modern Treks together. By spending
so much air time (and out of a regular 41-minute episode)
on the TNG characters in the TNG setting, it felt more like
they were so creatively exhausted that they could only think
to return to the days when they were having the most fun
and they were the most popular. The germ of the idea had
some merit. The execution was incompetent and insensitive
both to ENT fans and to the legacy of the franchise as a
Why didn't they set this on the Titan,
where Riker is now captain after Nemesis? Riker and
Troi could have been telling stories of the legendary Captain
Archer and his crew to their son Jean-Luc, like the grandfather
in The Princess Bride. Or an elderly T'Pol and tottering
Soval could have seen off Starfleet's new flagship, the NCC-1701,
under Captain Robert April. It's not that the characters
or the various shows couldn't have been combined -- they
brought the Defiant into "In a Mirror, Darkly" and
we loved it. It's that they did it badly, and pointlessly.
I'm still not sure exactly what lesson Riker grasped, or
why Troi thought playacting on the holodeck as a crisis approaches
would accomplish anything. TATV was depressing, bewildering,
jumbled, and without much hope. It's a very sad note for
any Trek series to end on, and given the atmosphere of TV
today, it's even sadder to think that it might be the last
Trek we see for a quarter-century.
Enough philosophizing. On to the actual episode.
New epaulets of some kind on the uniform shoulders,
a second Starfleet? patch on the other arm, and everyone's
name is embroidered on their pockets. I guess with the high
rate of possession, cloning, and alternate universes, it doesn't
hurt to wear a name tag. Even HoloPolly gets her name on her
catsuit. But big weird wig she's wearing! And it seemed to
me like Blalock and Makeup were conspiring to make HoloPolly
look vaguely like T'Pau, in coloring and expression.
The strange awkward mid-Bridge monitor post
which we saw on Columbia has been added to this six-years-hence
holoEnterprise, and it doesn't look any less stupid
Looking back, I think the TNG people were inconsistent
about whether you actually had to change or whether you could
put on a holo-costume "over" your uniform on the
holodeck, so I guess I won't complain about Commander Obsolete's
sudden sartorial switcheroo. (However, he still does the
thing where he walks out of a room like he's trying to knock
down a door with his forehead.)
I admit that seeing Ten-Forward, with the lighting
and sets perfectly recreated, lifted my heart for a moment. "Wow,
this is cool, it's seeing TNG again!" But you know,
if I want to see TNG again, it's no farther than my DVD player.
The momentary cool factor was shortly washed away by Counselor
Ineffectual's painfully teased hair and the bags under Frakes's
eyes. You can't go home again. We shouldn't be seeing this.
"Reed's shorter than I thought he'd be." Oh,
very nice. Snot. No wonder Barclay cut him down to size in "Hollow
"I read almost everybody confided in [Chef]." Huh?
We've never seen Chef other than a brief headless
shot in "The Catwalk." We've never heard of anyone
talking to Chef. Chef has no reputation for a good ear or
warm shoulder. It's one thing to create a convenient backstory
for a rarely-used or tertiary character, like saying that
Trav has some miner friends on the lunar colony so Trip and
Polly can sneak inside. It's something else altogether to
arbitrarily declare that intimate and deeply personal relationships
about which we've never even gotten jokes or rumors, never
mind actual screen time, existed over the past four years.
HoloShran married HoloJhamel and pulled an
Elvis, huh? Well, I guess, but it sounds unnecessarily complicated
and contrived. And I have trouble accepting that Shran, a
Commander in the Imperial Guard, not a tactically stupid
man, would leave the Guard because he had a family but would
think it's okay to get involved with jewel smugglers. At
least Jeff Combs gives HoloShran his usual shout-growl-and-whisper
Oh, wait, that's right, Archer liked water
polo! Better give HoloArcher a water polo ball to be futzing
with while he's talking.
Bakula looks exhausted in the scene where he's
convincing HoloPolly to go along with HoloShran's request.
His temples are gray (I guess that's supposed to indicate
time has passed) and the wrinkles around his eyes are almost
as deep as Commander PastHisPrime's. The little speech he
gives is definitely vintage Archer -- all about compassion
and reaching out to help, and dealing with consequences later.
But then the Arbitrary Plot Device comes in, and HoloArcher
tells her that "everyone" has to visit HoloChef
to talk to him. Isn't that conveeeeeeenient.
It also doesn't make sense, given the few
things we do know about Chef. In "Silent Enemy," Hoshi
says, "You know, I used to love to cook but I never
get a chance to anymore the way that Chef protects the galley." So
this insanely protective control freak man invited each and
every one of the 83 crewpeople (and how could that number
not change in eight or nine years?) into his private kingdom and let
them put their hands on food which he's serving to others
during his grand finale of his tour on the ship? My husband
throws me out of the kitchen if I try to empty the dishwasher
while he's cooking pasta for the two of us. My sister, who
is a professional cook, has a lock on her knife set so Nonna
can't use it. It's a bad macguffin. When you create a quaternary
character and give him only two or three identifying characteristics,
it's bad writing to violate them.
There is so much wrong with HoloPolly talking
to Chef Commander CameraHog I hardly know where to begin.
Even taking into account that Polly is human and not Vulcan,
she's a human like Seven of Nine -- reserved, private, and
not comfortable socializing. The only people on board Enterprise to whom she feels she can reveal herself are Archer and (ironically)
Trip. For her to babble loosely about her "intimate relationship"
and talking about whether she'd miss HoloTrip is literally
inconceivable for this character. And her body language --
she sneers, she grimaces, she rolls her eyes, she sighs, she
struts. I could believe that much emoting from Hoshi, but
Polly? Even when T'Pol was on Trellium she didn't behave that
And then she delivers the line which practically
gave Blalock a stroke when she got the script: "Before
I joined this crew, I never could've imagined anything more
important than following orders." This from the woman
who was a rebel Vulcan? She went to a human jazz club, she
ignored Soval's pleas and threats to stay with Archer and Enterprise more
than once, she experimented with mind melds and dangerous
drugs because it felt good -- "following orders" is
the most important thing to her? Not even Mirror Universe
T'Pol was a slave to utter obedience.
And as if the scene couldn't get more disgusting,
Commander Lecherous freezes the program and kisses HoloPolly's
cheek as a thank you. Now, try to remember the context. Counselor
Useless sent him into the holodeck to glean some kind of
example from these people because he has some big decision
to make. So it's like a law student sitting for a study session
with Abraham Lincoln to help figure out if she supports the
death penalty. Would you give the revered 16th President
of the United States a big ole smooch on your way out? Janeway
got it on with a hologram, but not the hologram of Leonardo
da Vinci. Is HoloPolly so irresistibly hot that he wanted
to take advantage of his lesson time to gather fuel for later
self-amusements? It's revolting. (And one for the Nitpickers'
Jar: when the scene freezes, HoloPolly is looking out over
the table. When the camera shifts, she's looking down at
the carrot she's peeling. When he kisses her, she moves slightly.)
In his next scene with Counselor Voyeur, he notes, "T'Pol
opened up to me," and his tone of voice really borders
on leering -- "She opened up ta me, ya know what
I mean, wink wink nudge nudge say no more?"
The Big D goes by awfully fast in the establishing
shots. Maybe it's because the guy who rendered it is the
adolescent jerk from Trekkies who has a uniform specially
hand-made and then complains on camera that the seamstress
didn't know what she was doing. No, I'm not kidding, that's
the person they hired to do the CGI of the ship.
Notice that the first crewmember on the Pegasus manifest of the dead is...Ron Moore? Think that was a li'l
jealous slap by somebody at a former coworker who's now doing
very well? (The next one is Dawn Velazquez, who was behind
the scenes on VOY and ENT.)
The banter between Commander BagEyes and Counselor
Botox feels very TNG for a few moments. Her probing, his
bluster -- it's authentic, but I was struck at how stilted
and almost formal it sounded. The franchise has come a long
way in being more realistic since the TNG days.
Then he demands to change the subject and she
chirps "Okay." Definitely not a typical TNG exchange,
and we can see why, because the scene promptly lurches into
the Arbitrary Plot Device. I remember watching the 1994 Olympics,
I think it was, when Oksana Baiul won the gold for figure
skating, and I was comparing the performances of the various
skaters (male and female). Several skaters took long moments
of their programs looking over their shoulders and lining
up their jumps before attempting anything. The result was
technically good but less than artistic. Baiul, on the other
hand, flowed into her leaps so smoothly and naturally that
the jump was just an outgrowth of the movement before it.
In the same way, at this moment in the script the writers
wanted to move to the framing device around the ENT cast,
but it's awkward and clunky. To me, this means that the combination
of the TNG and ENT episodes isn't natural. It's not
something which flows organically or believably. If the characters
have to stop their conversation outright in order to introduce
the desired element, then the scene is structured wrongly
and needs to be redone.
"I get all those museum ships mixed up," Counselor
Don'tKnowMuchAboutHistory giggles with a dismissive wave
of her hand. Yes, that's a lovely way to emphasize the importance
and relevance of the ship and crew of the show whose finale
It was a hell of a run, wasn't
it, my friend?
The dialogue in HoloTrip and HoloMalcolm's last
scene is good (despite the "All good things..."
groaner), and serves dual purpose as their farewell to the
show as well as the ship, but Keating was acting oddly in
spots -- his voice was pitched higher, his accent sounded
overemphasized, and his movements were jerky, like he was
back in Season 1 again. Trinneer played it straight and gentle.
Like any truly dedicated engineer, HoloTrip will nursemaid
his wee bairns until they're pried from his cold de-- uh,
different metaphor. Until the last possible moment. No reason
to send her into mothballs with clogged injectors and dirty
filters, right? "It won't be the same" with a different Enterprise, HoloMalcolm notes sadly. "That's okay,"
HoloTrip answers softly."C'mon." And with a supportive
hand on HoloMal's shoulder, they walk out into history.
And BANG Commander SoreThumb and Counselor
GoreCrow are hanging behind a ladder, staring avidly like "Fear
Factor" applicants watching a car wreck. Her painfully
clumsy line that "he had no idea he wouldn't make it
back" is high-school-caliber foreshadowing. What in
blue blazes is Commander ThickSkull supposed to be learning from
this? It's just over a third of the way into the episode
and there's still no clue where this is going or what connection
it has to "The Pegasus."
Back to HoloMalcolm for a moment: the scene
opens with a very typical BritBitchBurst, as he complains
to HoloTrip about Look What He's Getting Us Into This Time,
Ollie. He notes Rigel's bad neighborhoods and points out that
no plans ever survive the first engagement with the enemy.
"I don't like it," he grumbles...and then that's
it. The mission is later successful, but in the backlash, HoloTrip dies from those "unsavory elements."
And we get no followup. In fact, we get less than no followup,
because not only do we not see HoloMalcolm raging at HoloArcher
and/or HoloShran for dragging them into the mess which gets
HoloTrip killed, but in HoloMal's last scene, he's comparing
career tracks with HoloTrav and complaining about having nosebleed
seats! I know Trek episodes tend to happen in an emotional
vacuum, but the event happened like three days before in the
So HoloShran named his daughter for Talas,
hm? That was sweet.
Apparently Commander Lecherous and Counselor
CastingCouch are quite well suited for one another, as she
stops the holodeck program which he's supposed to be using
in lieu of talk therapy to eyeball HoloArcher up and down
like a side of beef and pronounce "He's cute." (Then
Commander EgoStroke jeers, "Don't get any ideas." But
at this point in TNG, Troi is about to take up a brief romance
with Worf. She and Riker haven't been a couple for years.
Where did this come from? Did the writers not even bother
to refresh their memories with their own characters' stories
so they'd be referencing the right materials?)
yay Majel again! And that's likely a new line,
too, not looped.
HoloTrip's protestations that HoloArcher shouldn't
come on the mission because it's dangerous (1) contradict
what he said to HoloMalcolm, so either he was just blowing
smoke then or HoloMalcolm convinced him there might actually
be a problem (2) sound completely stupid given just what
the crew went through in the four years we saw, never mind
the 10 years they've been together on the ship (3) are out
of character for Trip because while Trip has shown concern
for Archer's well-being, other than the suicide mission against
the Death Star, I don't ever recall Trip telling his captain
to stay home because it was too risky. In fact, it's out
of character for the entire series. Trip gives Archer a great
little speech in "Silent Enemy" when Archer thinks
he rushed the ship out of Spacedock: "In the old days,
astronauts rode rockets with millions of liters of hydrogen
burning under their seats. You think they said, 'Gee, I'd
love to go to the moon today but it seems a little risky'?
I think if you asked anyone on board whether they thought
this mission was worth the risk, you'd get the same answer
from every one of them." So for HoloTrip to assert that
HoloArcher should stay on the ship rather than jeopardize
his presence at the charter signing is really out of left
field for the show. For TNG it's par for the course, since
Picard wasn't allowed to go on many Away Missions, but this
is not TNG, it's ENT we're watching.
We return to HoloPolly's bizarre twitching,
quavering, slurring, eye-rolling, sighing emotional Lady
Godiva act in the shuttlepod. T'Pol took every opportunity
to deny that she had any romantic feelings for Trip, for
a season and a half. In public, just the two of them, to
her mother, to her AU self -- not once did she ever admit
out loud to wanting him as more than a friend and bootknock.
By the time "Bound" rolled around, the writers
had made her human, and there are arguments to be made about
who was under what influence at that moment (but that's a
soapbox for another day). But to ask "do you miss me?" in
front of random HoloMACOs and their friend HoloTrav
is once again literally inconceivable. Two private people
(and Trip was always private about his pain) do not discuss
such intimate matters in public. Period. Even HoloTrip looks
at her like she's nuts for bringing it up.
What was the point of the scene, to the writers?
What did they want to accomplish? That HoloPolly still wanted
HoloTrip? An affirmation of their breakup? If everything
in this holodeck program is geared towards teaching Commander
CameraHog some lesson about following orders, what possible
purpose does this dialogue serve? And more to the point,
if this is a historical program, who the hell would
have recorded that conversation?
Ah, how deliciously ironic: T'Pol had a history
of disliking Andorians and not trusting Shran, Shran spent
two episodes spitting epithets about honorless lying Vulcans,
and yet HoloPolly is the one to accompany HoloShran to the
tradeoff. This is actually what HoloArcher was talking about,
people helping one another despite the difference in species.
In an ENT episode, there would have been a few moments for
the script to linger over that and point it out, and for
someone to make another gesture underscoring the trust these
individuals have placed in one another.
What the hell -- is that a Kazon behind
Awww, how cute, the daughter of Andorian HoloShran
and Aenar HoloJhamel is light blue!
"Stand still, and you won't be harmed.
I always say that to all my prey...I just like the sound of
See, now, after the firefight, HoloTrip falls
off the edge of the balcony, and HoloArcher drags him back
to safety. Back on the ship, HoloTrip thanks him for saving
his life, and HoloArcher jokes about being glad he didn't
take HoloTrip's advice. That moment is the one Commander
CameraHog should have learned from. HoloTrip made a conservative,
emotional appeal, HoloArcher bravely soldiered on, and HoloArcher
was right -- playing it safe doesn't always work. It's actually
relevant to the Pegasus dilemma of staying quiet or
speaking up, it's more in keeping with ENT's usual tone,
and HoloTrip wouldn't have to die to make the point. If I'd
been editing, I'd've told them to stop there.
"Boss"? HoloTrip calls his beloved
Cap'n "Boss"? Where the hell did that come
from? He didn't even call Cap'n Columbia "Boss." That's
just plain stupid. That's a writer not having any familiarity
with a character's tics and habits. It's sloppy and should
have been caught.
"Thanks, pinkskin," HoloTala pipes
up. Um, honey, you're too young to be using that word, and
daddy shouldn't be swearing in front of you. Now go play
with your friends Spock and B'Elanna while I wash daddy's
mouth out with soap. And what happens to HoloShran and his
daughter? HoloArcher packs them off to Sickbay and they disappear.
HoloTrip gets killed by the aliens because HoloShran got
them involved his in problems, but he doesn't even come to
offer condolences, let alone an apology?
Just to show you the warped frame of mind Moogie
and I were in at this point: HoloArcher says "Signing
documents are [sic] easy. Training a new engineer..." and
in his lengthy pause we both shouted out "Priceless!"
Hey, they got the asteroid from "The Pegasus" right.
I actually recognize it!
For the record, Brent Spiner wrote Data's four
lines. So there's no excuse for him to sound like
S1 Data who didn't recognize human clichés.
When Commander OutToPasture and Counselor FaceLift
sit down to discuss the actual choice which he has to make
in the context of the TNG episode, it's exactly the kind
of conversation which would have occurred in that episode.
They're both on the mark, the plot is right, his conflict
makes sense. And it's now two-thirds of the way through
the episode and there's still no clue where this is
going or what connection it has. The "moment of truth" already
passed -- it was the brief exchange between HoloTrip and
HoloArcher. There's nothing wrong with the TNG plot per se,
it just has no relevance to our crew, nor do they to the
Now we come to what is on the surface a series
of memories of Trip by his friends, what is intended by the
writers to be a little set of eulogies, and what actually
becomes a litany of character assassinations. Did anyone who
wrote this episode watch ENT for the last four years?
HoloMalcolm calls HoloTrip "a hick." HoloHoshi,
in one of the franchise's most spectacular canon violations
ever to disgrace the screen, states that Trip "could
barely speak English" and "didn't even graduate
college. He learned about engineering working on boat engines,
I think." Trip doesn't speak in mangled stereotypical
redneck patois, and never has. He told Phlox in "Doctor's
Orders" that "Under normal circumstances, I wouldn't
even let you in here without four years of Starfleet training
under your belt" and we're supposed to believe that
the Chief Engineer of the first Warp Five starship didn't
go to college? HoloPimpPhlox is of course happy to chat
about the neuropressure he prescribed, as though it were
common knowledge that an intimate Vulcan physical therapy
regimen led to a one-night stand between the Chief Engineer
and the civilian Science Officer during the critical mission to save
Terra from the Xindi. Was the continuity editor fired before
this script came down? The only way that kind of gossip would
be common knowledge 200 years later is if one of the three
involved wrote a tell-all book. (Okay, I admit I did laugh
loudly when the camera goes off HoloMalcolm to Commander
Lecherous, who asks "Did you ever find yourself attracted
to him?" and then it pans back to HoloHoshi.)
Commander EgoStroke once again baldly maneuvers
the conversation around to asking whether HoloTrip obeyed
orders at any given time. Why is it important? He didn't
obey orders and he died, that's what happens in this
Twilight Zone of a program. Why is that something which he
has to poke and prod at like a loose tooth? Any time we spent
in the TNG universe wasn't about whatever insights Commander
Snotnose might have gleaned, so we're just forced to sit
through this string of perversities of the people we love
without reason or resolution.
Archer: So, where do you want
to go next?
Trip: Second star to the right, and straight
on 'til mornin', Cap'n.
Archer: Sounds like a plan.
Other than the line "Here's to the next
generation" which made me throw a couch cushion at the
TV, the whiskyklatsch between HoloArcher and HoloTrip was
lovely. It's full of the forward-looking, hopeful, positive
desire to unite in friendship which ENT -- and all of Trek
-- has done best. HoloTrip teasing his captain about not
having written his speech yet, HoloArcher sharing his daddy's
whisky, the camaraderie of dear old friends -- this is what
a series finale is supposed to be! It's supposed to be uplifting
and celebratory! It's supposed to remind us of what we loved,
not leave us bewildered at the pod people who have cloned
I do have one quibble, which relates back to
HoloTrip's weird protective speech before the Rigel X mission.
Why is HoloTrip (and everyone else) so fixated on HoloArcher
giving his damn speech? Why is the presence of one man at
one ceremony so important? If there really is a reason --
if the Andorian ambassador had been, oh, Shran, or
the Vulcans wouldn't tolerate the Andorians without that
particular human around -- then it would have been nice to
have it explained to us. Instead, it's framed as though HoloTrip
dies for HoloArcher's speech. For a speech?
Finally we come to the moment which lifts this
episode out of (or perhaps shoves it down past) mere garbage into transcendently horrendous
confusion, to the event which makes the Head EGAN appearing
in the last 10 seconds of "Zero Hour" a consummation
devoutly to be wished.
HoloPolly reports (a) that the ship is under
attack, and (b) "intruder alert." Somehow the bad
guys who were chasing HoloEnterprise in a ship only
capable of doing Warp 2 have caught up with them (I remind
you that HoloEnterprise, which has sustained no damage, is supposed to be capable of
going Warp 5 for sustained periods), and they've managed
to board the ship. Now, in order to know that there were baddies
on board, that fast, sensors must have picked up their lifesigns,
or at least transporter traces. So someone knows approximately
where they aliens are -- certainly someone on the Bridge with undamaged access to the ship's internal communications. And yet Security never arrives. None of HoloMal's kids, none of the HoloMACOs.
HoloArcher and HoloTrip are rushing to the
Bridge. The aliens appear in the hallway, flanking them.
They demand to see HoloShran, HoloArcher says he left, the
aliens threaten to kill HoloArcher, HoloTrip goes into a
complete flailing panic the likes of which we've never seen
and tries to intervene, HoloArcher orders him to stay out
of it (that's apparently the key point), HoloTrip is practically
frothing at the mouth and says he'll bring them to HoloShran.
This is the next piece of dialogue, as nearly as I can make
HOLOTRIP: Hey, this guy's the captain.
HOLOARCHER: That's enough.
HOLOTRIP: He's my boss. I want to disobey his order, I don't want him coming
HOLOARCHER: Trip, that's enough!
HOLOTRIP: Listen. I won't do this if you kill him, but could you please shut
Would you excuse me for a moment, please? My
head just exploded and I need to clean off my monitor and
Okay, I'm back. Is this the lack of command
of English which HoloHoshi was babbling about earlier? "I
want to disobey his order"? Good gravy, George Lucas
doesn't write dialogue that bad! If the writers had strained
any harder to connect the ridiculous dots about Commander
Irrelevant's conflict they'd have given themselves hernias. "He's
my boss"? There's that never-before-used term again,
which sounds even stupider here. Trip and Archer had a pretend
squabble about following orders all the way back in "Acquisition," except
that one worked. This was ludicrous.
Oh, and it gets worse. HoloTrip goes even battier,
waggling his fingers and raising his voice to a yowl as he
pleads for HoloArcher's life. Remember that Trip has plunked
himself between two squadrons of armed starships (not once
but twice), faced hot plasma death, engaged in fisticuffs
with so many species I've lost count, and has seen the captain
kidnapped an average of once every eight weeks. So why is
he falling apart like this? The speech?
He lures them to a convenient junction. In
typical Trek fashion, he explains he has to bypass the fizzbin
generator. He grabs two fat wires.
Trip has managed to make every alien device,
engine, or mechanism ever presented to him work. He's wrought
miracles on two starships. In "Terra Prime," Trip
can take a belt link, a button, and a wire lead and hotwire
a door in a secure facility where he's never been before.
On Rigel X, HoloTrip made a sapphire the size of a softball
which was perfectly clear and flawless and would need a spectral
micrometer to see it was a fake, but built into it a remotely-controlled
mechanism which gave off such a powerful blast of light that
a half-dozen aliens of varying species were blinded. When
the aliens come on board, he's got the entire ship -- his ship,
his undamaged ship, with the engine he practically built -- at his disposal.
And the smartest thing he can think to do is BLOW HIMSELF
Trip is a smart man with a fast mouth. There
were simply too many potential solutions which the writers
could have given HoloTrip -- environmental controls, a less-violent
energy discharge, gravity, lights, the transporter, a MACO
team coming down the hall. The script was not structured
in such a way that another option could not have been written.
It would not have been an "improbable" escape.
Even if he had to FOOM himself along with everyone else,
HoloPhlox could have easily come up with the mediTECH
to save him. It was that the writers wanted to kill Trip
off. Berman and Braga wanted Trip dead.
And his death serves no purpose. There's no
logical connection between HoloTrip refusing HoloArcher's
order to shut up and flinging himself on the proverbial grenade
and Commander EgoStroke's problem. None. So he dies
Oh, wait, the speech! That's right.
The speech which HoloTrip is so obsessed with that some of his last
words are gasping about being late for The Speech Which Saved
The Universe. I'll get back to that in a minute.
It was touching, but a little painful in comparison,
that after nearly two years of professional distance with
a few intermittent moments of banter, it's only in this holodeck
program that we get to see Archer's caring for Trip again.
HoloArcher cradles HoloTrip as tenderly as a brother to bring
him to the MRI bed. Damn near broke my heart -- or it would
have, if Commander AmbulanceChaser hadn't been gawking in
It's a holodeck program. Don't take it
What was that weird wink about? Trip gave Archer
a goofy thumbs-up at the end of "Singularity," but
a wink? Was he hinting that he was going to come back from
the dead like HoloShran did? (Trinneer later joked at a convention that what HoloTrip whispered in HoloArcher's ear at the last moment was "Marry me.")
Now, for a truly moving death scene for Trip,
where Archer shows his love for his friend, watch the last
10 minutes of "Observer Effect." Because it doesn't
happen here. What does happen? HoloPolly is packing up HoloTrip's
quarters. HoloArcher comes by to share a bit of grief with
her, and most of the scene is honest and raw (except for
Commander Center Of The Universe hovering in the reflection
like Maleficient's mirror had a fat brother).
And that's IT. No, really, THAT'S IT. Nobody
else on holoEnterprise mourns HoloTrip's loss.
I'll deal with that just below.
The next scene made most of my hair stand on
end, because Commander Sadist decides that now, several days
out of sequence, he's going to run the part of the program
where HoloChef is supposed to talk to HoloTrip. So we're
watching a ghost, or an angel. I was expecting him to be
transparent or leave trails when he moved or something --
it was utterly surreal.
Well, it was surreal and stupid, with the stereotypical
catfish of S1 and S2 returning. Trinneer was really irritated
about that, and asked the writers to stop doing it. At least
when he grabbed the carrot to nosh on it, he didn't put it
back with a bite out of it (like Riker himself did in "Encounter
at Farpoint." Yes, I do remember stuff like that).
So HoloTrip makes a sweet little speech about
truly trusting HoloArcher not to hurt him, about HoloArcher
being there for him always. And this teaches Commander Indecisive what exactly?
I cannot grasp what the writers were trying to achieve with
this. I literally don't even know what point they were trying
to make. Were they trying to draw a parallel with Picard?
Finally, the day for TSWSTU arrives. HoloHoshi,
HoloMalcolm, and HoloTrav (along with several ENT writers)
are in the cheap seats. They've just lost HoloTrip, HoloMal's
dearest friend of 10 years. Is there grieving? Is there a
mention that HoloTrip would have been proud? Is there recrimination,
guilt, if-onlys, how-could-hes? Is there a single normal
human reaction to a terrible and profound loss?
No! There is whining about the seating
arrangements! HoloArcher has finally made so many stupid risky
decisions that he got his old friend killed, and HoloMalcolm
blithely tells HoloTrav to stick with the captain, as "that's
exactly what I plan to do." Why, so he has more opportunity
to put a knife in his back? Neither HoloPhlox nor HoloPolly
nor HoloArcher even allude to their comrade in their final
scenes together. HoloTrip has to be spinning in his holograve
at the callousness of his so-called friends. This is textbook
insanity. This is beyond incomprehensible. This reads as though
the last half hour didn't happen. How can the writers expect
us to accept this? How is this a "valentine," as
they called it so often? It's like Trip didn't exist for the
last four years, like one of the engineering NPCs or a Security
redshirt died. There is no conceivable explanation for this
The last bit among HoloPhlox, HoloPolly, and
HoloArcher has some good Birth of the Federation talk. (and
another creepy Denobulan smile! ick! we couldn't have gotten
away without that one last time?) And the gentle hug
HoloArcher gives HoloPolly is a true full circle for those
two friends, and very believable.
Okay, let's hear this damn speech already which
HoloTrip died for, and it had better be go--- Wait, what's
going on? Why are we cutting away? What do you mean, he died
for the speech and we don't get to hear it?! It's more
important to show Commander Buttinsky and Counselor KnowItAll
throwing in one last desperate tidbit to try and jam the two
stories together? Everyone on board the HoloEnterprise was consumed with getting HoloArcher to his meeting on time
so that he could deliver his speech. It's all any of them
could talk about. HoloTrip died for this speech. Counselor
Condescending twitters that she had to memorize it in school.
But we don't get to hear it?
Okay, but after all that, there has to be some connection
to "The Pegasus," right? If Commander Dithering
spent all that time in the holodeck trying to learn something,
there's some scene in the TNG episode where he walks in,
mind made up to confess?
Or perhaps the writers weren't paying attention
even to their own work. This is the script for "The
Pegasus," and it's a very interesting read.
Commander BloatedEgo leaves the holodeck after
cutting off Archer's speech, claiming to be determined to
go straight to Picard. But in fact, he doesn't -- Picard
asks him directly more than once what's going on, and Commander
HonorBound won't talk. (I'd actually have to watch it again
to see if there are sufficient gaps for the holodeck playing
to have occurred.)
It isn't until he beams over to the Pegasus and
is confronted with Pressman's greed over the cloak that he "makes
his choice." And THEN it isn't until the Romulans seal Enterprise inside
the asteroid and the cloak is the only way to escape that
he rats Pressman out.
So not only was HoloTrip's death completely
senseless and not related to the lesson Commander Clueless
wanted to learn, but he didn't apply the lesson he
came to the friggin holodeck to learn in the first place!
Going through that script (which is a good one), you can
see what the Bs were trying to do, or what they thought they
were trying to do. You can see the "choice" and "trust" and "orders" coming
up repeatedly, and how Commander Indecisive might have looked
to other famous rebellions or mutinies for guidance. But
what arrived on screen is barely a distant cousin of that
Connor Trinneer and Scott Bakula in an
unguarded moment near the end of filming. It's just
a great photo.
|Photo: Sci-Fi Universe
The montage of the three Enterprises
was visually nice, but Bakula threw his game too and read
his line flatly. And by that point I was so off the charts
that Q could have danced naked on the asteroid and I wouldn't
At least we get to end with one positive
note: the Food Chain remains unbroken to the very end. :D
We stretched a few times, but there is a mention or shot
of food in every single episode of "Enterprise." How
can you not love a show like that?
Recycled Trek Actor Checklist: As DS9
did in "What You Leave Behind," several behind-the-scenes
Trek folks appear in costume as extras, including long-time
Trek writer and science editor André Bormanis, Manny
Coto, the Reeves-Stevenses, and writer Larry Nemechek. I'm
not counting Commander Obsolete and Counselor Ineffectual
as Recycled. Voice-overs included Majel Barrett as the computer
and Brent Spiner as Season 1 Stupid Data, and Patrick Stewart
and William Shatner were spliced in from their shows' introductions.
Next week I will be seeing Star Wars Episode
III: It Had Better Not Suck. If I'm up for it I'll
post some thoughts. If not, I'm taking a week off and will
return most likely with a Get Me Rewrite on the 27th. I
have lots of stuff planned for the coming months
-- original material and ENT-focused, as many are requesting
-- as well as expansion into BSG commentary. So please
do keep coming back. Even if Enterprise has sailed
into the west, TripHammered will continue for as long as
you'll have me.
May 20, 2005: I have some thoughts
on Revenge of the Sith up, which is on a separate page to spare people hoping to
avoid spoilers. For the annual site design tweak in July,
I'll be gathering all the non-ENT material under a new banner, Off-Topic, and it'll live there.
May 27, 2005: Returning to our roots,
and to happier times, here's a Get
Me Rewrite! with an image from Season 1. Usual disclaimers
June 3, 2005: Held over for an unprecedented
second week! I'm getting so many good captions for
this photo that I'm leaving it up for another week. (Also,
going to have to start posting on alternate weeks at some
point anyway, so I might as well start with something people
actually want to see for another few days.) If the
form is grouchy, feel free to email me your caption, and
on my continuing joke are welcome.
June 4, 2005: The webmaster of Rocketman.tv,
promoting a book about Pete Conrad, the third man on the moon,
alerts us to a poll on his site asking who should play Conrad
in a movie. Connor Trinneer is walloping Russell Crowe. Let's
make it a landslide! Go vote!
Scott Bakula: ...and, in conclusion,
I would just like to say that you will never find a
harder-working, friendlier, more greenscreen-tolerant
cast in all of Hollywood. Thank you.
Connor Trinneer: Thanks a bunch, Scott. It's
really nice of you to come down here and talk to the
casting directors for us.
Bakula: Hey, we're all in this together.
Jolene Blalock: Can I take off the catsuit yet?
John Billingsley: Only for the lad mags.
Blalock: I've been in all of them already!
Billingsley: How about GQ?
Bakula: Or Cosmo?
Blalock: Ooh, now there's an idea.
June 10, 2005: That was a huge amount
of fun. I didn't expect for that photo to generate so many
great captions -- nice work by everyone! Make sure you check
out the last two captions which wrapped up my running
This week we have a new column from our favorite
Andorian, Dear Shrannie.
You're always free to mail questions for Shrann Landers,
which I'll collect and post in future columns.
June 17, 2005: The webmaster of Rocketman.tv very happily reports that Connor got over 90% of the vote in the poll about who should play Pete Conrad in the movie,
thanks to the Tuckerite legions, so he's leaving the poll
up for a bit longer. Go vote again!
The results of the Future of TripHammered survey
were almost evenly split into Just ENT, All the Treks, and
Trek Plus Other Shows. In that spirit, here's our first non-ENT Get
Me Rewrite with a fertile (heh) TOS image. (After the
site tweak, this photo and its captions will live in the
Off-Topic section, just FYI.)
June 24, 2005: Hey, remember the crew
quizzes? myst generously volunteered to convince one of our
favorite Vulcans, Ambassador Soval,
Next week I'll have an update on Friday, and
then on Monday the 4th, TripHammered's third (!) anniversary,
I'll be introducing the "Off-Topic" section of the
site. This will be more important around the middle of July,
when BSG2K starts up its second season, as I plan to do commentary
on those episodes.
July 1, 2005: Your
mama wears MACO boots! And a whole lot of other things.
Site updates, January
2 through June 26, 2006
Site updates, October
December 26, 2005
Site updates, July
4 through September 26, 2005
Site updates, January
4 through March 25, 2005
Site updates, October
1 through December 31, 2004
Site updates, July
4 through September 24, 2004
Site updates, April
7 through June 30, 2004
Site updates, January
1 through March 31, 2004
Site updates, October
1 through December 31, 2003
Site updates, July
4 through September 30, 2003
Site upates, April 2 through July 2, 2003
Site upates, January 1 through March 28, 2003
Site updates, July
4 through December 31, 2002